Xander Schauffele's driver was deemed too springy for competition. He took issue with the R&A's testing methods. 

By Daniel Rapaport
July 20, 2019

Xander Schauffele has had driver issues this week at the Open Championship

The 25-year-old American was struggling with the big stick early in the week, when he played his last 12 holes in six over to shoot 74 on Thursday. 

Turns out, the problem wasn't just execution.

For the second straight year, the R&A—the governing body that runs the Open—has randomly tested drivers on the practice range to see that they are all conforming. Drivers are only allowed to have a certain coefficient of restitution, a measure of how "hot" or "springy" the clubface is. Schauffele, who plays Callaway clubs, was one of 30 players who had their club tested, and he became the first player to publicly admit that his driver was deemed illegal.

He didn't have a problem with changing the settings to make it conforming. He was, however, upset that not every player in the field was tested, calling it "unfair."

"I would gladly give up my driver if it's not conforming," Schauffele, who had worked his way back to 5-under after Saturday's round, said. "But there's still 130 other players in the field that potentially have a non-conforming driver, as well. Had a word with [the R&A] and hopefully they take my comments seriously and my concern just because it wasn't my plan to show up Monday morning of a major or Tuesday — sorry, it was Tuesday evening where I was doing driver testing here. It's not really what players want to be doing.

"What's the fair thing to do? Just test the whole field. It's plain and simple. When I talked to them they didn't really know how to -- you can't really answer that question. You test everyone, it's simple as that."

According to Golf Digest, Schauffele wasn't the only player who had to change his driver—multiple other manufacturers had produced clubs that were non-conforming. 

The R&A confirmed that Schauffele's driver was indeed flagged. 

“We randomly selected 30 players for driver testing as we did at last year’s Championship, and we can confirm the statement that Xander’s driver failed. We have worked with Xander and his manufacturer to ensure that he has a number of conforming drivers he can use this week," said an R&A spokesman. “We offer the testing as a service to players so that they can ensure that their drivers conform. We believe that 30 is a reasonable sample and a practical option for conducting this process in the week of a major championship.”

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