'If The Fans Are Upset Then Look At The Guys That Left' - Scheffler Defends PGA Tour Over Fracture In Men's Game

The American has suggested the blame for the division in the men's game lies away from the PGA Tour

Scottie Scheffler speaks to the media before The Players Championship
Scottie Scheffler has said the blame for the division of the men's game lies elsewhere
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Scottie Scheffler has defended the PGA Tour over the fracturing of the elite game since the emergence of LIV Golf.

The American is at TPC Sawgrass this week, where he will defend his Players Championship title. In the build-up to the event, some of the focus has been on how fans feel about the direction the game has taken in recent years, particularly with the influx of money and the exodus of players from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf. 

Earlier, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had vowed to put fans first and said they are “tired of hearing about conflict, money and who is getting what.”  However, Scheffler was clear that the blame doesn’t lie with the PGA Tour. He said: “I think we're trying to do our best to create the best product for the fans, but we can't control whether or not guys want to leave.

“If guys want to go take the money and leave, then that's their decision. I'm not going to sit here and tell guys not to take hundreds of millions of dollars. If that's what they think is best for their life, then go do it. I'm not going to sit here and force guys to stay on our Tour. But at the end of the day, this is where I want to be, and we're continuing to grow what we're doing, and what they're doing is not really a concern to me.”

Scottie Scheffler during a practice round before The Players Championship

Scottie Scheffler spoke to the media before defending his Players Championship title

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2022 Masters champion, who heads into this week’s tournament on the back of victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, then suggested that fans who are upset about the direction the game has taken should look elsewhere.

He said: “If the fans are upset then look at the guys that left. We had a Tour, we were all together, and the people that left are no longer here. At the end of the day, that's where the splintering comes from. As far as our Tour goes, like I said, we're doing our best to create the best product for the fans, and that's really where we're at.”

There may be more clarity on how the fractures in the game could heal coming soon. During his press conference, Monahan also revealed that the PGA Tour’s negotiations with the PIF were “accelerating” and said: “I see a positive outcome for the PGA Tour and the sport as a whole."

As for Scheffler, he is in a group with 2021 Players Champion Justin Thomas and 2015 winner Rickie Fowler during the opening two rounds of The Players Championship. The trio begin their first round at 1.40pm ET (5.40pm GMT) on Thursday.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.