Ryder Cup: Xander Schauffele admits he wasn’t a huge golf watcher as a kid, and that Jim Nantz’s voice put him to sleep

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Ryder Cup: Xander Schauffele admits he wasn’t a huge golf watcher as a kid, and that Jim Nantz’s voice put him to sleep
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HAVEN, Wis. – Xander Schauffele didn’t watch much golf as a kid.

Jim Nantz had a say in that.

Golf was not on the must-watch TV list for the gold medalist. Yes, he loved golf as a kid, but it was the NFL that filled the screen. And once his San Diego Chargers were done playing, he needed a nap to get ready for Sunday Night Football.

Well, Nantz, whose signature welcome of “Hello, friends,” opens every CBS Sports broadcast he anchors, put Schauffele to sleep.

“I kind of watched golf to fall asleep on a Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. I’d practice in the morning with my dad, and then watch football at like 1:05 on CBS, and then my dad would turn golf on and I’d fall asleep and I’d wake up for the Sunday Night Football Game,” Schauffele said Wednesday at Whistling Straits before the 43rd Ryder Cup. “That was kind of my childhood. Not that I didn’t love golf, but really that was sort of the program. Once you hear Jim Nantz’s voice, you just kind of, you know what I mean?”

Just to make sure, what Schauffele meant was Nantz’s soothing tone helped close his eyelids. As for watching golf, it wasn’t until he hit his college days where it became a regular practice to sit in front of the TV and watch the game he loves.

“As a kid just like any other kid, you see Tiger in red, and he wasn’t wearing red at Ryder Cups unless that was one of the team outfits. Those were kind of the things I dreamt of as a kid,” Schauffele said. “In terms of Ryder Cups, only when I was in college I was probably very aware of it. It was sort of major championships, Players, Ryder Cup, and then I learned about the Presidents Cup shortly after.

“Those were kind of the order of how my dreams were stacked up.”

This week he’s living out one of those dreams as he’s one of six Ryder Cup rookies on Team USA. Technically, he is a rookie, but the world No. 5 played well in the 2019 Presidents Cup and has come up victorious on some of the game’s biggest stages, counting four PGA Tour titles among his haul.

Asked if he felt like a rookie, Schauffele responded, “No, not really. I mean, I am a rookie. It’s my first appearance. Knowing most of the guys on the team, knowing pretty much all the captains on the team helps me feel more comfortable.

“All the guys on my team are enemies most of the year, but for this one week we all share our thoughts and we’re all pulling for each other, and we want the best for each other because we all want to win. We stand under one flag and for one cause.

“Just try and win this thing.”

He won the main thing – the gold medal – in the Tokyo Summer Games. But his gold medal is not in the team room.

“It’s too individual,” he said. “It’s about the team this week, so it wasn’t going to make an appearance. I don’t even know where it is. I think my mom might have it back home unless my dad secretly has it on him out here.”

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