Players 2022: Xander Schauffele randomly buries fellow gold medal winner Justin Rose
PONTE VEDRA BEACH—No matter how much golf fans resist it, winning the gold medal at the Olympics is still a very big deal. Xander Schauffele, the most-recent winner, knows this well. He still smiles every time he's introduced as the gold medal winner on the first tee. His dad, once an aspiring Olympian, shows it off every chance he gets.
Unfortunately for Xander, the last time he saw the thing was when he was biting into it on the podium in Tokyo.
"My parents have it. They're just showboating around," Schauffele said Tuesday. "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 like a safe place now that I've moved out or anything like that, but I have no clue where it is right now."
Despite the admission, Schauffele was still asked if he had any fun stories of parading around with the beautiful hunk of medal. He took that as an opportunity to randomly posterize Justin Rose so hard that prime Blake Griffin would be impressed.
"Is that based on all Olympic gold medalists or just Justin Rose?" Schauffele said, laughing. "Sorry, Rosey."
To be clear, Schauffele was just joshing around with some low-hanging fruit. One of the best running jokes in golf is that Rose still hasn't taken off his gold medal since winning it in Brazil in 2016. Hopefully, "Rosey" doesn't peruse the internet at any point on Tuesday night.
After getting in his pot shot, Schauffele was able to drum up one fun gold medal story involving airport security.
"I had to travel to Japan with [the gold medal], and I had it in my backpack and I went through TSA, and I kind of put it in the back side of my bag that I travel with where my iPad goes.
"So I took everything out obviously through TSA, and then the guy—my bag got pulled aside. I'm sitting there, like what? I totally forgot that I had it in my actual bag just because I just slipped it in there when I was going to go travel, and the guy was like, 'there's something circular in your bag.' I'm like, 'I'm sorry, sir, you can take my bag apart.' I have no clue what this is on your screen. He's ripping through the bag, and then I was like, 'oh, dangit.'
"So I pull it out, and he's like, 'wow, what is this? Is this like a replica or something?' And I looked at him like, no, it's real. It's not real gold, it's plated, but -- and he looked at me and he's like, 'is it yours or is it someone else's?' I was like, man, I guess I need to keep playing good golf. That was probably my coolest encounter with it that wasn't even kind of showing off with it."
Forget you had your own gold medal in your bag at security? Justin Rose would never.