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Xander Schauffele withdraws from Kapalua with back injury

KAPALUA, HAWAII (AP) – A nagging back injury in the Bahamas has turned into something more mysterious for Xander Schauffele, who withdrew from the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Friday and plans to get an MRI to see what’s wrong.

Schauffele, the number six player in the world and a three-time winner last year on the PGA Tour, felt he couldn’t swing at full speed and stopped on the par-five ninth hole.

Schauffele had no issues after the Hero World Challenge, which ended on December 4, and through his practice until arriving at Kapalua. But he felt pain again Monday, withdrew from the pro-am on Wednesday and struggled through the opening round.

“It feels like a very similar deal to the Bahamas,” Schauffele said. “In the Bahamas, I started to feel better each day… This is not getting any better. It actually feels worse when I swing.”

Schauffele was one over for his round when he withdrew. He said he was flinching on tee shots, chunking irons and his head was “in a terrible spot”.

Xander Schauffele. PHOTO: AP