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Xander Schauffele says that he is slowly returning to full health after contracting COVID-19 in the run-up to Christmas.

The 27-year-old American makes his 2021 debut at this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii and, after arriving in the ‘Aloha State’, he told reporters of his run-in with the deadly virus last month.

“My girl got it on the 16th,” said Schauffele. “It was a bit of a scare. On the Tuesday night, she wasn’t feeling great. I had a Callaway photo shoot on Wednesday. It became sort of a thing. My agent got texted midway that she tested positive for COVID, so it was a bit of a scare at the photoshoot for everyone. Jon Rahm and Phil [Mickelson] were there.”

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The world No.6 added that, following his girlfriend’s positive test, he quarantined away from her in a hotel but, after a couple of days, woke up feeling “sick as a dog”.

“I dragged myself to the clinic, tested positive, and fortunately was able to quarantine at home with my dogs and my girl,” he said. “I don’t know how she got it. We traced everything. No one around her got it. My family didn’t get it. So it’s a weird deal.

“It’s a bit scary just because there’s so much unknown facts about the whole COVID process, I guess. But like I said, just happy to be here and slowly getting my strength back day-to-day.”

For somebody who is used to travelling the world and being outdoors playing golf, Schauffele admitted that being isolated indoors was difficult to adjust to.

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“I have two dogs and so they were going stir crazy,” he said. “The first four days were very much on the couch and in bed. I live in a 2,000-square-foot condo, so it’s not like we have a whole lot of space to sort of stretch out or run around. But the first four days were bad. A lot of Call Of Duty for about four nights. Watched some Hulu movies, started watching Fargo.

“I had two books that I looked at but I just ended up turning on my PlayStation. That was the only way to be social and socialise with a few of my friends.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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