PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Xander Schauffele said he smiled every time he was announced on the first tee at tournaments as the 2020 Olympic gold medal winner.
On Tuesday, ahead of this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Schauffele, 28, was asked where the gold medal he won in Tokyo last year is located.
“It feels like the last time I saw him on the podium,” Shauffele said. “My parents have it. They’re just showboating [it] around. I have no idea where it is in all honesty. It’s in the house I grew up in. I don’t know if there’s a safe place or something now that I’ve moved out, but I have no idea where it is right now.”
When it was suggested that many Olympic champions have a period when they show their medal around, Schauffele delivered a fantastic joke about 2016 gold medalist Justin Rose when he said: “Does that refer to all Olympic gold medalists or just JustinRose? I’m sorry Rosey.”
Asked about encounters with the medal, Schauffele recalled a bizarre airport incident involving a TSA security agent.
“I had to travel to Japan with it and I had it in my backpack and I went through TSA and I kind of put it in the back of my bag that I travel with where my iPad goes,” he said. “I got it all out obviously through TSA and my bag was pulled aside. I’m sitting there like what?
“I totally forgot I had that [the medal] in my actual pocket just because I just put it in there when I was going to go traveling and the guy said, ‘There’s something circular in your pocket.’ I say, ‘I’m sorry sir, you can take my bag apart. I have no idea what that’s on your screen.’ He rips through the bag and then I was like, ‘Oh damn.’
“So I pull it out and he’s like, ‘Wow, what is that? Is that like a replica or something?’ And I looked at him like, ‘No, it’s real.’ And he looked at me and he was like, ‘What do you have…is it yours or does it belong to someone else?’ I was like, ‘Man, I think I need to keep playing good golf.”’
Because so many players talked about being beaten by the course layout and conditions llast week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hillthere was speculation that many top players might avoid playing the event in the future.
Rory McIlroy was one of the most vocal to rant about the Bay Hill course.
“It wasn’t misconstrued, I definitely complained,” McIlroy said Tuesday. “If you weren’t out on the golf course, in a way you wouldn’t understand. Look, it was the same for everyone. I definitely understand that. But when I went to the dressing room by a lot of players on Sunday afternoon, there was a lot of alcoholic drinks being drunk, so it wasn’t just me out there having a hard time.
One player who didn’t have a problem with Bay Hill was Jon Rahm, who played the tournament for the first time last week.
“I liked it,” said Rahm on Tuesday. “I enjoyed the golf course, I enjoyed the design and I enjoyed the challenge. Let’s go, I’ll be back. We enjoyed it as a family. There are loads of things to do out there for my wife and baby and if I’m enjoying the golf course it seems like a week I’ll probably be going back to.
“I’d rather play at Bay Hill every single week of the year than at a golf course that only challenges you to putt. We try to be the best players in the world. We’re playing at Arnold Palmer’s; it is Arnold Palmer’s legacy. I think he wants us to suffer a little. To be honest, I have nothing to complain about.”
The comment of the day came from Patrick Cantlay when asked about the Sawgrass Stadium course.
“I would have loved to have seen what I would have shot in the COVID year,” Cantlay said, referring to the 2020 players being canceled after one round. “I think I was 6 or 7 under the first day [actually 5-under]so that’s just lost in the ether.”
https://nypost.com/2022/03/08/xander-schauffele-doesnt-know-where-olympic-gold-medal-is/ Xander Schauffele doesn’t know where Olympic gold is