‘Long way to go’: Xander Schauffele not convinced Jay Monahan can be trusted

PGA Tour pro Xander Schauffele walks off green during 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Xander Schauffele spoke to reporters on Tuesday at the 2024 Players Championship.

Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

PGA Tour commissioner and newly-crowned PGA Tour Enterprises CEO Jay Monahan sounded confident in the state of his job security on Tuesday at the Players Championship. PGA Tour star Xander Schauffele, on the other hand, is less convinced.

Reporters peppered Monahan with tough questions about the future of the PGA Tour and calls for his resignation during his pre-tournament press conference. As to the future, he was tight-lipped, stonewalling reporters left and right. As for his two executive positions with the Tour, Monahan was defiant, declaring he was “the right man for the job.”

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But in his own sit down with the media on Tuesday, Schauffele again questioned if Monahan was the correct person to lead the organization forward.

The biggest sticking point, unsurprisingly, was last summer’s announcement of a framework agreement with the Saudi Arabia’s PIF, owners of LIV Golf, which was negotiated in secret without the knowledge of players. Schauffele explained how that decision broke any trust he had in Monahan’s leadership.

“Trust is something that’s pretty tender, so words are words, and I would say in my book [Monahan’s] got a long way to go,” Schauffele said on Tuesday. “He could be the guy, but in my book, he’s got a long way to go to gain the trust of the membership.”

When Monahan was asked about support among players, he deflected the question and instead brought up his support among the boards of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Enterprises, both of which have chosen him as their leader.

“I can’t generalize as it relates to players, but clearly given the responsibility I’ve been given by both boards, I have the support of our board, and I am the right person to lead us forward,” Monahan said.

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“I’m sure [Monahan’s] got the support of the board, since they were with him making some of those decisions,” Schauffele said in his own presser, “but for me personally he’s got quite a ways to go.”

Schauffele’s comments jive with previous statements he made in an interview with Today’s Golfer back in November.

“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.”

As for this week’s Players, the PGA Tour’s flagship event where Schauffele is hoping to cap a solid start to the season with a win, Schauffele admitted to a reporter that the loss of star players to LIV has hurt the event.

“I don’t think it helps the tournament. Yeah, I mean I think you would like to have those players playing, in an ideal world, but I feel like we’re sort of beating a dead horse in this media room a little bit.”

Schauffele begins his opening round at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday at 8:24 a.m. ET.

Kevin Cunningham

Kevin Cunningham

Golf.com Editor

As managing producer for GOLF.com, Cunningham edits, writes and publishes stories on GOLF.com, and manages the brand’s e-newsletters, which reach more than 1.4 million subscribers each month. A former two-time intern, he also helps keep GOLF.com humming outside the news-breaking stories and service content provided by our reporters and writers, and works with the tech team in the development of new products and innovative ways to deliver an engaging site to our audience.