Speaking in his pre-tournament press conference at the Genesis Scottish Open, defending champion Xander Schauffele didn’t pull his punches when asked about the lack of communication between PGA Tour management and the players in the wake of recent negotiations between the PGA and DP World Tours and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
“Yeah, pretty similar,” he said when told that Jordan Spieth had suggested that communication levels had deteriorated from the levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Like I said, it’s a work in process. Usually when things aren’t great, there’s always something good that can come from it.
“So my hope is that there isn’t much communication right now and things are a little bit unsettling and there is a bit of a divide between management and the players, if you want to call it that, and my hope is that a positive thing coming from that will be more communication, more transparency, and sort of understanding which direction the Tour will go with us being sort of the ambassadors of it.”
As for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who’s set to return to the fold next week having been temporarily sidelined through illness?
“Thanks, Doug,” he responded to laughter when asked if his feelings of trust in the commissioner had changed in recent months. “Yes. Yes, they have.
“We got a memo that he’ll be back on the 17th. If you want to call it one of the rockier times on TOUR, the guy was supposed to be there for us, wasn’t. Obviously he had some health issues. I’m glad that he said he’s feeling much better. But yeah, I’d say he has a lot of tough questions to answer in his return, and yeah, I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust and he has a lot less of it now. So I don’t stand alone when I say that.
“Yeah, he’ll just have to answer our questions when he comes back.”
Despite the civil unrest within the PGA Tour, Schauffele is confident that if the players are all singing from the same book then they’ll weather the storm and emerge in a position of strength on the other side, whatever the landscape they emerge into may look like.
“You know, I think if us players can stay together, sort of stay unified and have the right goals in place for the future, then it would be less unsettling,” he said.
“I would say for the most part, most of the players on the PGA Tour are together and sort of want to be informed and want to have a say in sort of what happens. Right now, you know, with this hearing and everything that’s going on, these are just sort of steps in the process to getting, I guess, not what we want but more transparency and sort of getting a seat at the table. It’s a for-members organisation and that’s what it should be.”