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Xander Schauffele Assesses Jay Monahan’s Leadership: ‘He’s Got Quite a Ways to Go’

Just a few hours after Jay Monahan addressed the media for the first time since August, Xander Schauffele came out with an assessment doubtful of the commissioner’s ability to lead the PGA Tour going forward. 

Schauffele, speaking at a press conference ahead of the Players Championship, did not hold back when asked whether Monahan is the “right person” to guide the Tour as it enters a new partnership with Strategic Sports Group and continues negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which backs LIV Golf. 

According to the Olympic gold medalist, Monahan has “a long way to go” before he fully regains the trust of the PGA Tour membership.

Xander Schauffele speaks during a press conference for The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on March 12, 2024.

Xander Schauffele said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has yet to gain trust of the full membership.

“I guess we’ll start with the easy ones,” Schauffele joked in response to the initial question. He took a long pause and then answered the question bluntly.

"I mean, you know what I’ve said in the past on how I feel about it. Trust is something that’s pretty tender, so words are words, and I would say in my book he’s got a long way to go. He could be the guy, but in my book, he’s got a long way to go to gain the trust of the membership. I’m sure he’s got the support of the board, since they were with him making some of those decisions, but for me personally he’s got quite a ways to go.”

Schauffele’s mistrust in the Tour leadership stems from the June 6 framework agreement between the PGA Tour, PIF and DP World Tour which was unveiled without the consultation of the Tour membership. Since the announcement of that landmark deal—which has yet to be finalized—Schauffele has been notably outspoken about his disappointment surrounding those in positions of power at the PGA Tour, Monahan in particular.

“I don’t trust people easily,” Schauffele said in July at the British Open. “He had my trust and he has a lot less of it now.”

Since then, the PGA Tour has entered into an agreement with SSG, which will invest $3 billion into the Tour’s new for-profit entity, called PGA Tour Enterprises. A 13-member PGA Tour Enterprises board was recently announced. In addition to Monahan, two board members, and four SSG investors, the board includes six current PGA Tour player-directors: Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson and Peter Malnati. 

Schauffele still does not seem completely satisfied with the leadership, but he is generally optimistic about a positive outcome.  

“I have trust in some of the people that are leading us and hoping for a good outcome,” Schauffele said. “In the meantime, just trying to play the best golf I can play.” 

In Monahan’s press conference on Tuesday, he admitted that he could have handled the framework agreement announcement “better” and takes “full responsibility and accountability” for his mistakes. 

He was also asked if, at any point, the PGA Tour player director or Policy Board members requested that he resign. In his answer, Monahan did not deny that such a conversation was had. 

“There’s been a lot of good spirited debate amongst our board,” he said. “I don't think that would be a surprise to anybody, you know, given the events of last summer. But we are a unified front. Our Policy Board continues to perform and function at a very high level with great support of our player directors, and the formation of PGA Tour Enterprises, with a new board, a new board comprised of four members of SSG, seven players, or six player directors and Joe Ogilvie, who is a liaison director, myself and Joe Gorder, who is the independent director serving on that board.

“I'm excited to work with both boards. For me, honored to serve as commissioner and now be a member of the PGA Tour Policy Board, and also honored to be CEO of PGA Tour Enterprises and be a part of that board, and committed to working with each of those boards to make sure we're moving this business forward and achieving what we can achieve to its full capacity.”