Xander Schauffele Frustrated with Jay Monahan: We Need a Leader

Schauffele stressed that Monahan didn't confidently address issues when they occurred

by Sead Dedovic
Xander Schauffele Frustrated with Jay Monahan: We Need a Leader
© Sam Greenwood/Getty Images Sport

The PGA Tour commissioner hasn't exactly been a favorite figure in the world of golf, nor among PGA Tour players, though it appears he has been working on improving his image among players recently. Jay Monahan, after confirming negotiations between the PGA Tour and PIF (LIV Golf), sparked anger, as golfers were not previously informed that the PGA Tour and PIF would negotiate a merger. 

Monahan shortly thereafter had to take a break, due to the pressure and stress he experienced after announcing such news. 

Although a year has passed since then, some still have an aversion to the PGA Tour commissioner for many reasons. 

Xander Schauffele, one of the most prominent names on the Tour, primarily highlighted during an interview with The Times the fact that the PGA Tour currently lacks a leadership figure. Some believe the PGA Tour is losing its power with the arrival of LIV Golf, and the main culprits for this are the leaders of this Tour. 

Schauffele is increasingly frustrated by this fact. He intends to play golf and win tournaments, but it seems that he is constantly aware that the PGA Tour needs the right people.

“What I can say is that throughout all of this turmoil, what’s probably bothered me the most — now more than ever — is that we need someone to lead us, we need a leader. My job is to do what I did [at Valhalla] and play good golf and be an entertainer and show how exciting golf can be."- Schauffele said.

The 30-year-old golfer confirmed that he had criticized Monahan in the past, primarily because he didn't stand by the players. Golfers expected the PGA Tour commissioner to show teeth and openly support them in some instances. However, it seems that Monahan didn't think too much about it.

"I’ve criticised Jay in the past, but the fact is not once has our commander-in-chief stood up for all of us players and said, ‘This is happening, this is where we’re going,’ and protected us, basically."- he continued.

Schauffele stressed that Monahan didn't confidently address issues when they occurred, especially in the context of important decisions like players leaving. His absence from public appearances following controversial announcements, while understandable for medical reasons, left a void in leadership. In difficult times, strong leaders are crucial to reduce concerns and instill confidence. Currently, there's a perceived lack of such leadership within the PGA Tour.

Jay Monahan has angered golfers with his behavior, especially due to statements where he rarely emphasized the golfers and their wishes. It seems that the leadership of the PGA Tour has shown that they are focused on their own goals, without considering whether the golfers are satisfied with their decisions. Tensions between LIV and the PGA Tour were already quite high back then, and the merger was probably the last option on many minds. Some golfers even openly criticized their colleagues from LIV Golf, considering them hypocritical and money-hungry.

Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele© Patrick Smith/Getty Images Sport

As for trust, Schauffele indicated that individual trust in Monahan might not be the central issue, given the diverse opinions among the approximately 250 players on tour. However, what remains essential is the need for a leader who can effectively guide through complex situations, unite the players, and take accountability for decisions, protectingthem from unnecessary scrutiny and division.

Looking at the number of golfers on the PGA Tour, it's clear that everyone has a different opinion about the merger and the future of golf. This is precisely why golf leaders should be more open to the opinions of the golfers, who are the foundation of this Tour. Subsequently, they changed their stance when it comes to golfers, but the wounds that were created then seem to still not have fully healed.

Xander Schauffele: It’s got to come back together at some point

Schauffele, however, is someone who believes that unity is the best option at the moment, citing the last Major played, the PGA Championship. Xander had an interesting battle with LIV Golfer, Bryson DeChambeau, until the last moment. In those moments, a large number of spectators watched the battle between the two golfers competing on different Tours. Xander emphasizes that players like DeChambeau are the reason why some follow this sport and enjoy it, so the priority should be unity in the golf scene.

“Bryson makes people turn the television on and there are several guys on LIV that are missed in terms of the full package we can provide a golf fan, so it’s got to come back together at some point."- Xander Schauffele concluded.

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau© Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Sport

Whether changes will occur in the near future or not remains to be seen.

Xander Schauffele Jay Monahan