‘I wouldn’t mind seeing some new leadership’: Xander Schauffele calls out Tour bosses
Xander Schuffele says he “wouldn’t mind” having new leadership on the PGA Tour, as the Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund negotiate a deal that would bring the sides together.
Schauffele’s comments, published this week in a lengthy story written by Michael Catling of Today’s Golfer, come as the proposal enters a fourth month of talks, most of which have been kept private. The deal would create a for-profit entity operated by the sides — which had previously went head-to-head through the PIF’s funding of LIV Golf — and it had been brokered by Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, two Tour officials and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the PIF governor.
All of it has left the world’s sixth-ranked player frustrated.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing some new leadership take place on our circuit,” Schauffele told Today’s Golfer.
“I would be lying if I said that I have a whole lot of trust after what happened. That’s definitely the consensus that I get when I talk to a lot of guys. It’s a bit contradictory when they call it ‘our Tour’ and things can happen without us even knowing.
“It’s hard. I’m sure there are reasons for what happened, but at the same time, it puts us in a really hard spot to trust the leadership that did some stuff in the dark and is supposed to have our best interests at heart. … I am a bit in the dark still. I hate to sit here and hope for the best.”
Notably, a month after the deal was announced in early June, Schauffele shared a similar thought, as did others.
At the Scottish Open in July, Schauffele questioned his trust in Monahan. The majority of Tour players learned of the deal through its announcement, and Monahan took a leave of absence a week later due to a health concern.
“If you want to call it one of the rockier times on Tour, the guy was supposed to be there for us, wasn’t,” Schauffele said at the time. “Obviously he had some health issues. I’m glad that he said he’s feeling much better. But yeah, I’d say he has a lot of tough questions to answer in his return, and yeah, I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust, and he has a lot less of it now. So I don’t stand alone when I say that. Yeah, he’ll just have to answer our questions when he comes back.”
Since then, the Tour-PIF negotiations continue, with some questions. Will it reach its proposed Dec. 31 deadline? Will it fall through? Could another group enter the mix? What is the future of LIV? Much is unclear, though in the interview with Today’s Golfer, Schauffele said he remains committed to playing with the Tour, which he’s said previously.
“I haven’t really thought a whole lot about it and I don’t sit here and think, oh gosh, I should have pursued that more or anything of that nature,” said Schauffele, who revealed last year that he had talked with LIV. “I’m pretty content with where I’m at and what I’ve done.”
Also in the interview with Today’s Golfer, Schauffele said there was “zero fracturing” in the U.S. team room at the Ryder Cup.
Those comments deny a Sky Sports report that said Patrick Cantlay, Schauffele’s American teammate and friend, had a beef over not being sufficiently compensated at the biennial event, and that Cantlay declined to wear a hat as a form of protest. (Cantlay also denied the story.) Both players and fans alike used the report as a rallying cry, and the Europeans defeated the Americans.
“I’m not sure how or why any of that was printed,” Schauffele told Today’s Golfer. “If I’m going to set the record completely straight, there was zero fracturing in our team room. To say that we didn’t eat with our teammates was pretty funny. Everyone in our locker room had a pretty good laugh at that part.”
Schauffele, in the Today’s Golfer story, was also critical of his father’s comments at the event. There, Stefan Schauffele met with a group of reporters, including GOLF’s Dylan Dethier, and, among his comments, he said: “I think if the PGA of America is a for-profit organization, they need to have the players share in that profit. Instead of being so damn intransparent about it, they should reveal the numbers. And then we should go to the table and talk.”
Said the younger Schauffele to Today’s Golfer:
“I was pretty unhappy that he was talking to the media. We’ve already hashed that one out.”
Editor’s note: To read the complete Today’s Golfer story, please click here.