Players Taking PGA Tour Deal With PIF 'A Bit Personally' - Xander Schauffele

The American has revealed some players are feeling hurt over the deal that will see the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF join forces

Xander Schauffele at the 2023 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village
Xander Schauffele says players are taking the PGA Tour deal with PIF personally
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Xander Schauffele admits the deal that has seen the DP World Tour, PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund that bankrolls LIV Golf come together has left many players taking it "a bit personally."

The American had reportedly been a target for LIV Golf last year. Ultimately, he remained on the PGA Tour, but he has told The Times the deal had left him with questioning that decision. He said: “What does loyalty mean these days? I don’t quite know.”

Within the statement outlining the details of the deal was the promise of “a fair and objective process” for any LIV Golf player wishing to return to either the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour at the end of the 2023 season. Schauffele admitted that the new entity will be stronger with the best players from all three circuits competing.

He said: “From a long-term perspective, more money being dumped into the game again is a good thing. The product was always going to be better with the [LIV] golfers we know, the Major winners, all included, but trying to put my own emotions and sentiments on the matter aside is going to be hard.”

The deal represented a stunning about turn from the DP World Tour and PGA Tour considering their previous hostility towards PIF and its funding of LIV Golf. Following the announcement, a player meeting was held where PGA Tour CEO Jay Monahan was repordedly accused of "backtracking" and included calls for him to resign.

Schauffele admitted that there was a sense of betrayal among many players who had rejected the overtures of LIV Golf out of either loyalty to the PGA Tour or for morality reasons. He said: “Yeah, I guess [betrayal] would be the charged word. Irony comes to mind as well. From the messages I’ve had, everybody is taking it a bit personally, which is fair, to an extent.“

The seven-time PGA Tour winner also admitted that the lack of transparency over the deal had left him disappointed. He said: “I was definitely left in the dark, like most guys, which is frustrating from the transparency side. I thought we were making some headway in that department, but obviously not, because there wasn’t a whole lot of trust in the first place. “

Schauffele also revealed there is a range of emotions felt by players following the news that looks set to radically alter the direction of the game.

He said: “As tour pros, we try to rationalise situations when we compete, but some guys are feeling hot-headed, some are more confused, some are emotional. We have a really interesting group [of players] that are trying to deal with this situation.”

The 26-year-old then said his focus is on what he can affect on the course. “Obviously, if I can have an impact on the game, I’ll try,” Schauffle revealed. “But now more than ever it is an important time to put my head down and play good golf.”

One of the leading figures in brokering the deal was PGA Tour policy board member Jimmy Dunne. In an interview with ESPN, Dunne said PGA Tour players who had turned down LIV Golf would receive "a piece of equity" in the new company.

Mike Hall

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.