On a controversy in Saudi-PGA Tour deal? Xander Schauffele needs 1 word

Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele last Sunday at the Players Championship.

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Xander Schauffele introduced the thought last Sunday, when he’d been leading the Players Championship during the final round, then wasn’t, before eventually tying for second. To that ending, reporters wondered what he felt like.   

Schauffele had three words, learned from his dad, Stefan

“My dad told me a long time ago to commit, execute and accept,” he said. “I’m swallowing a heavy dose of acceptance right now, but that’s kind of what I did. I tried to commit, I executed poorly on some shots, and here I am, accepting it.”

Tuesday, ahead of this week’s Valspar Championship, Schauffele expounded on it further — then weaved it into one of the biggest decisions facing the saga among the PGA Tour, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund and LIV Golf. 

Schauffele can be thoughtful like that. Let’s start with where the whole saying originated. There’s a small twist there. 

Schauffele thinks his dad came across the thought from a German philosopher. (Stefan is German.) His dad has passed along a few other gems, too, the younger Schauffele said. For example, folks also learned last week of ‘the steady drip caves the stone,’ in reference to diligent work (the steady drip) eventually paying off (the caving of the stone). 

Funny thing is, though, Stefan tried to change commit, execute and accept. He wanted to flip the last two words.

But his son was already, well, committed. 

“Yeah, he even wanted to change it to ‘commit, accept, execute,’ because you sort of have to ‘accept’ before you hit the shot, no matter what happens,” Schauffele said. “But just from a long time, even when I was 9, he made a little thing for me that had the ‘CEA’ in it and it sort of had a nice ring to it. 

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“So I feel like it sort of applies to everything that I do on and off the course, and it’s a really simple way to think of things and pretty effective, if you can make it work.”

Regarding the LIV Golf concern, he thinks he has, at least for himself personally. 

For a while now, Schauffele and LIV have been loosely connected. The seven-time PGA Tour winner previously admitted he’s met with LIV — and he turned down the series that’s now been competing with the Tour for three seasons. But he’s also been critical of Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, after the Tour started negotiations on a funding deal with LIV’s backer, the Saudi Arabia PIF. As late as last week, in fact, Schauffele admitted he still had trouble trusting Monahan

In short, things are complicated. As are seemingly the nine-month-long talks between the Tour and the PIF, with a likely large obstacle being: How should LIV pros be moved back to the Tour, should a deal be reached? Those players had accepted big money to join LIV, while others, such as Schauffele, at least listened to cash offers, but remained Tour loyal — and those players should now be OK with those who took the money just coming back?

Notably, there’s been a wide range of thoughts here. But Schauffele has just one. 

It’s just one word, actually.         

Remember the saying? 

For clarity, here is a complete exchange Schauffele had with a reporter, starting with the reporter’s question.

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“Would you, being in your position, be annoyed at someone from LIV who was able to come back and keep all the money that you turned down or chose not to take, however you look at it?”

“I think that goes into the ‘accept’ boat for me, if we’re going to run that sort of scheme on your question here,” Schauffele said. 

“I have to accept sort of any decision I was going to make a long time ago regarding to what you just mentioned with money and moving and them coming back and stuff of that nature. So I’m very content with where I sit right now and I would have chosen otherwise if I — I don’t have any regrets of what I’ve done or what I’m doing, so I’m sleeping just fine at night knowing where I stand.”

To one thing, Schauffele is right: 

For at least him, his saying can do a lot of things. 

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.