‘Things get twisted’: Xander Schauffele explains father’s Ryder Cup comments

Xander Schauffele speaks at a press conference.

Xander Schauffele addressed his father's Ryder Cup comments Wednesday.

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At some point the topic was going to circle back to Xander Schauffele, and at Wednesday press conference of the Zozo Championship, it did.

“Your father suggested that Ryder Cup players be paid,” a reporter began.

The Ryder Cup is now nearly three weeks past, but the debate Schaffuele, longtime friend Patrick Cantlay and Schauffele’s father Stefan stirred up in at Marco Simone, has not been settled.

First, let’s rewind just a bit. Pay for play became a talking point at the Ryder Cup when Sky Sports published a report alleging that (1) Schauffele and Cantlay were at the epicenter of a fractured U.S. locker room stemming from the pair’s beef with team members not being sufficiently compensated, and (2) Cantlay declined to wear a hat as a form of protest. Cantlay denied the claims.

Later in the week, Stefan Schauffele met with a group of reporters, including GOLF’s Dylan Dethier, and 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 we should go to the table and talk.”

Stefan stressed he was speaking only for himself and not his son.

Both players and fans alike used the Sky Sports report as a rallying cry, but the Europeans thwarted any attempt at a U.S. comeback in Sunday singles. When asked after the event whether Ryder Cuppers should be paid, Cantlay declined to answer.

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“It’s not about that,” he said. “It’s just about Team USA and representing our country. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

On Wednesday at the Zozo, Xander tried to clarify his father’s comments, although he did not share his own opinion on the matter or directly answer the reporter’s question.

Your father suggested that Ryder Cup players be paid. Many people think that’s probably a fair suggestion. What are the obstacles to having that happen and what do you think the resistance is to it from the public in general? In other words, you guys get paid for everything else, why not this?

“If you look at what he said — I wasn’t super fired up that he was speaking to media just because I know how things get twisted — I had to look back at what he said specifically and he specifically said that if the tournament’s for-profit, then players should get paid,” Xander said. “He also said that if it’s charitable, it should be a charitable event most likely and that everything should get donated.

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“I don’t know, when I look back on what he said, I think the headlines sort of skewed obviously what he was trying to say, but I don’t think he ever really spoke directly to what you’re referring to in terms of playing getting paid. He just said it should be either or, not really as confusing as it is.”

The Ryder Cup does generate millions of dollars in revenue for both of the event’s governing organizations, the PGA of America and the DP World Tour, but neither body is a for-profit enterprise.

The PGA of America is a 501(c)(6) status, and the DP World Tour is a “benevolent trust,” another form of non-profit.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.