'We Need A Leader' - Xander Schauffele Takes Latest Shot At PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan

In an interview with The Times, Schauffele expressed his view that the PGA Tour is without "a strong leader right now"

Main image of Xander Schauffele looking serious during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship - inset photo of Jay Monahan talking at a press conference ahead of The Players Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

World No.2 Xander Schauffele has once again strongly criticized commissioner Jay Monahan's leadership of the PGA Tour - accusing his boss of "not once" standing up for all players and protecting them during a period of turmoil for the sport.

Schauffele said he felt "betrayed" by Monahan in the days after the shock framework agreement came to light in June 2023, going on to suggest it would be difficult for the PGA Tour boss to regain the trust of the circuit's members.

And in a pre-Players Championship press conference earlier this year, the current PGA Championship holder stated Monahan "still has quite a way to go" in seeing that trust return.

But Monahan has continued to fight on in his post and helped to successfully secure billions of dollars of funding from Strategic Sports Group around the turn of the year - thus securing the future of the PGA Tour for a little while longer.

Yet, despite that, two PGA Tour board members recently resigned citing a lack of meaningful progress in talks with the PIF regarding a possible merger. There was a further twist when the New York Times reported that deal sheets were recently exchanged between the two key parties.

Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Away from the boardroom, Schauffele was asked during an exclusive interview with The TImes whether or not the resentment he had built up towards Monahan had subsided in any way.

Schauffele said: “What I can say is that throughout all of this turmoil, what’s probably bothered me the most — now more than ever — is that we need someone to lead us, we need a leader. My job is to do what I did [at Valhalla] and play good golf and be an entertainer and show how exciting golf can be.

"I’ve criticised Jay in the past, but the fact is not once has our commander-in-chief stood up for all of us players and said, ‘This is happening, this is where we’re going,’ and protected us, basically.

“He didn’t take a stand when anyone left, he didn’t come out to the public and face the music, none of that. Obviously, there were reasons [Monahan took a medical leave of absence in the immediate aftermath of the announcement], but historically in tough situations you need a strong leader who can make the big waves smaller and make us feel better about what we’re doing. Right now, we don’t have that.

“Whether I trust him or not doesn’t matter. There are around 250 guys on tour. That’s a lot of people to satisfy. But what I know can help and know is right is that we need someone to stand up in front of everyone and lead the charge, whatever direction we’re going in, and wear the hard shots so the players don’t have to and take command of a fractured and sensitive situation.”

From his own point of view, Schauffele has echoed the majority of his peers in stating that men's pro golf really needs to come back together in one way or another - highlighted by the TV ratings his thrilling battle with LIV Golf's Bryson DeChambeau generated at the recent PGA Championship.

Xander Schauffele smiles as he poses with the 2024 PGA Championship trophy

Xander Schauffele smiles as he poses with the 2024 PGA Championship trophy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He said: “Bryson makes people turn the television on and there are several guys on LIV that are missed in terms of the full package we can provide a golf fan, so it’s got to come back together at some point."

In the same interview, Schauffele admitted he did once meet with LIV officials in Saudi Arabia over a potential switch in tours. But the 30-year-old Californian said he quickly realized the move would not work for him and returned his focus exclusively to the PGA Tour.

Schauffele said: “It’s funny, my friends used to send me screenshots of me as the favourite to join LIV, and the odds were solely based on me not commenting much, but actions speak louder than words.

“I’ve shown up to play PGA Tour events week in, week out. I love my job, this is where I’m at, and I don’t really see myself going anywhere else. I had to at least sit down and listen to what was being offered, but once I realised it wasn’t really going to fit in with how I envisioned my career, it just fizzled out.”

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.