Xander Schauffele pledges ‘allegiance’ to PGA Tour despite talks with Saudi league
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
It seems like every big player in golf announced their opinion about the Greg Norman-led Saudi golf league last week. For the most part, players declared their loyalty to the PGA Tour, including some we knew about (Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, to name a few) and some suspected of entertaining offers from the Saudis (namely, Dustin Johnson).
But one top-10 player kept quiet amid the cacophony of takes, one with an Olympic gold medal is his home: Xander Schauffele. Given his silence, speculation swirled that Schauffele might be the first big-name pro to follow Phil Mickelson to the new league. But on Wednesday, Schauffele put that speculation to rest.
In a statement released on Twitter, Schauffele confirmed his “allegiance to the PGA Tour” after stating that speculative articles “required[d] a response.”
But it’s not quite as simple as that. Schauffele opened his statement writing, “at no point have I taken any action or made statements to suggest that I would entertain the SGL as an alternative to the PGA Tour.”
However, in the next paragraph, the four-time PGA Tour winner revealed his team did meet with representatives from LIV Golf, the organization behind the upstart league, “to do due diligence on this matter.” Ultimately, Schauffele says his team came to the conclusion that “the SGL isn’t close to a finished product or business model.”
One question that statement leaves the door open for is this: if the SGL was closer to a “finished product” would Schauffele bid farewell to the PGA Tour?
For now that question is moot, which he made clear in his closing statement, writing, “My allegiance to the PGA Tour, my belief in positive changes at the verge of being implemented at the PGA Tour, in particular when it comes to shared intellectual property rights, size of purses and overall transparency, never wavered.”
You can read Schauffele’s complete statement below.