Xander Schauffele: PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has to earn back players’ trust
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan returns to his post Monday after a month-long absence, and he likely won’t be eased back into work.
Some of the Tour’s top players have some tough questions to ask.
Monahan was sidelined by an undisclosed medical situation a week after he stunned the golf world by announcing that the Tour had entered into an agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the DP World Tour. The details of that arrangement are yet to be worked out, but the secretive nature of the framework agreement left players – even Tour policy board members – feeling blindsided.
When asked Wednesday at the Scottish Open if his feelings and level of trust in Monahan has changed, Xander Schauffele said: “Yes. Yes, they have.”
“If you want to call it one of the rockier times on Tour, the guy who was supposed to be there for us, wasn’t,” Schauffele said. “Obviously, he had some health issues. I’m glad that he said he’s feeling much better. But I’d say he has a lot of tough questions to answer in his return.
“I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust, and he has a lot less of it now. I don’t stand alone when I say that. He’ll just have to answer our questions when he comes back.”
Earlier Wednesday, Jordan Spieth acknowledged that there are “quite a bit” of trust issues that Monahan will have to reconcile, particularly with the top players, many of whom turned down lucrative offers from the Saudis to join LIV.
“I think he realizes that,” Spieth said of the work that lies ahead for Monahan. “I’m sure he’s preparing for a plan to try and build it back.”
Since the Tour announced June 13 that Monahan was temporarily stepping away, top executives Ron Price and Tyler Dennis have taken over the day-to-day operations. Price, the chief operating officer, and policy board member Jimmy Dunne appeared Tuesday before a Senate committee that is reviewing the Tour-PIF arrangement.
In a memo last week to the Tour’s policy board and players, Monahan wrote that he is “eager to engage with each of you – as well as our players, partners, fans and our PGA Tour family – to address any questions and protect the game we treasure.”
Scottie Scheffler said that there is now “open lines of communication” between the players and Tour leadership, if not more definitive answers about the future of the Tour.
“We have had numerous discussions with the Tour officials and players as weeks have gone on with stuff,” Scheffler said, “and I feel like we’re going in the right direction.”