Controversy! Xander Schauffele angers PGA Tour fans with dodgy (?) drop

PGA Tour star Xander Schauffele caused a stir during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.

Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele

PGA Tour star Xander Schauffele caused an almighty stir during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship for allegedly taking a questionable drop. 

The moment at Quail Hollow Club arrived on the eighth hole of the day (his 17th). 

With his score already at an impressive six-under par, the American looked as though he was likely going to drop at least one stroke after a loose tee shot. 

Schauffele's drive was way, way right. 


So far right, in fact, that he was in the trees and couldn't even see the pin which was located at the back right of the green. 

By the time he arrived at his golf ball, it had nestled against a fence. 

To most, it looked as though it was an unplayable lie and he was staring down the barrel of an instant bogey after likely needing to chip out sideways. 

But he didn't, and later told of how he was 'super lucky' after consulting a rules official about his options. 

Take a look at the drop here:

Schauffele managed to wangle an extremely fortunate line of sight drop from the shot link tower positioned in front of him. 

From there, he sent his second shot to about 34 feet and two-putted for par. 

A closing birdie saw at the next saw him return a scorecard of seven-under 64, which was good for a two-shot lead at the time with a handful of players yet to conclude their opening rounds. 

But this was undoubtedly a standout moment that angered many X users. 

One user wrote: "Absolute abomination and a disgrace to golf that Xander Schauffele took a drop here. 

"I will say it: Schauffele is a straight-up cheat and a crook as far as I'm concerned. No respectable golfer in their right mind would take this with a clear conscious."

Another added: "Schauffele should go to jail immediately."

Schauffele's drop
Schauffele's drop

This user wrote: "Ridiculous! Schauffele couldn’t even see the thing he was claiming to be obstructing him so asking for the drop is embarrassing and the official looked like he was bullied into it."

And this user twisted the knife: "The PGA Tour is a damn disgrace. Xander Schauffele hit a tee shot DEEP into the woods but five minutes later he is chipping onto the green from a clear line of view. 

"The 'rules officials' always bail out the pros, regardless of the situation."

Schauffele defended his actions, telling Golf Channel: "Wyndham [Clark] found it pretty close to the fence. 

"When we got there it was pretty much dead. Then I started touching the two rocks next to me, then I said to Austin [caddie] that’s fine I can move them. 

"They were big rocks. We moved the rocks and then pretty much punching out backwards was impossible as the fence was like close to ball, so the only advancement was to be able to punch it forwards to the green. 

"I then brought the rules official in and the tower was in the luckiest spot possible and then we went left, that brought me out the very edge of the pine straw. 

"I thought it was an unbelievable pitch and then a two putt. I was super lucky. The birdie on the last was then the cherry on top for me.”

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