USA threatened to axe Xander Schauffele in Ryder Cup run-up

Mark McGowan

Xander Schauffele at the Ryder Cup (Photo by Maddie Meyer/PGA of America via Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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According to reports from The Times in London, Xander Schauffele’s participation in the Ryder Cup in Rome remained in doubt just weeks before the event got underway at Marco Simone Golf Club.

According to Schauffele’s father Stefan per The Times reports, a contractual agreement between Schauffele and the PGA of America – one of two governing bodies of the Ryder Cup along with the DP World Tour – had not been signed by Xander, while Stefan accusing the PGA of America of “strong arm” tactics.

Schauffele was allegedly looking for changes to be made to the contract that would see players bonuses – each US player gets a $200,000 donation to charity in their name – increased and that Netflix cameras would be prohibited from filming in the US locker room for the next installment of the Full Swing series.

Just a week ahead of the event, it was decided at a US team meeting that the cameras wouldn’t be allowed, with Schauffele cited as one of the main driving forces in opposition.

“The PGA of America were not willing to even talk to us about [the requested amendments],” said Stefan Schauffele, who is the swing and mental coach for his son, to The Times.

“It was very late in the schedule right before the team came here to practice because they had moved the deadline and they said: “If you don’t sign it by then, you’re off the team”, but they never gave us the contact information of their legal counsel.

“Saturday morning of Labour Day weekend [September 2], finally, the head of the PGA of America got wind of this, because it was not him that was blocking it and put our lawyers in contact with the PGA of America’s general counsel.

“And then it took a few hours to hash it out and it was fine. Then I received a message that Xander was back on the team. That you can quote. That’s the extent of this and I think it’s shameful.”

Schauffele’s close friend Patrick Cantlay was rumoured to be a source of malcontent in the US locker room, and was the subsequent focal point for ridicule from the European fans, but if reports suggesting he was unhappy with the lack of adequate compensation given to the players, it seems he was not alone.

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