Xander Schauffele joked that he should ditch his training routine in favour of the lifestyle of some of the less-disciplined golfers from the 1990s after withdrawing from the Sentry Tournament of Champions with an ongoing back issue.
The 2019 champion was one-over through eight holes for his second round and two-under overall when his caddie Austin suggested it might be prudent to bow out with a congested run of events to come.
He said: “Austin told me on 9, he’s like, ‘You know, we have a lot of tournaments coming up on the West Coast Swing, and it’s a big swing for us. Are you going to look back and feel really proud of yourself for like gutting it out and maybe hurting yourself more or should we pull out and be smart here because we have a long way to go?’ So yeah, it kind of went like that.”
It’s the same problem Schauffele initially complained about in the Bahamas at the Hero World Challenge and it also forced him to sit out this week’s pro-am in Kapalua. Having enjoyed a fairly injury-free run at the beginning of his career, the 29-year-old admits it is a cause for concern and that he should have had it scanned before arriving in Hawaii.
“It feels like a very similar deal to the Bahamas,” he added. “In the Bahamas I started to feel better each day with the pills and the treatment and everything. I’ve never had any sort of issues. It’s just not getting better. It actually feels worse when I swing.
“I’m going to go home – I’ve never had a scan or anything, so I’m going to go home, get a scan, just try to be as smart as possible. I should have done it after the Bahamas, but it was so funny, I felt so great after, I was back to full routine after that. So that was probably a little immature on my part, to be completely honest.
“But yeah, I’m 29. I need to preserve my health. I feel like I’ve done a really good job up until this point and the fact that I can’t really pinpoint what it is is a bit frustrating. So once I get the scan and look at it and have all the pros look at it and then if they tell me that I’m okay, then I think I’ll start to feel better and stop flinching at what I’m doing.”
And if all that doesn’t work, taking a more laid back and unconventional approach in a throwback to the old school professionals of yesteryear is always an option.
“The irony hurts. I try to exercise more, eat better and do everything better and I should have just stayed fat and like more mobile, I guess, and not worked out and try to do all…