Xander Schauffele explains father's Ryder Cup pay-for-play comments

PGA Tour star Xander Schauffele has addressed his father's comments about whether or not Ryder Cup players should be financially compensated. 

Xander Schauffele explains father's Ryder Cup pay-for-play comments
Xander Schauffele explains father's Ryder Cup pay-for-play comments

In the immediate aftermath of the Ryder Cup, Xander Schauffele appeared alongside his Team USA teammates in a media tent to face the music. 

What was interesting is that one of Schauffele's remarks about his father was mysteriously removed from the official press conference transcript. 

It wasn't anything controversial or interesting in truth, just a one-line wisecrack about apologising on his father Stefan's behalf who apparently suggested the real reason why Patrick Cantlay wasn't wearing a hat was to avoid a tan line ahead of his wedding to Nikki Guidish

Still, there was clearly something bubbling under the surface. The brouhaha behind-the-scenes concerning Schauffele and the PGA of America was later revealed by the Times' Tom Kershaw. 

Turns out, Schauffele was reportedly threatened with being kicked off of Team USA over a contractual dispute weeks before he arrived in Italy.  

Schauffele's father told the paper the PGA of America, which stages the Ryder Cup in conjunction with Ryder Cup Europe, used 'strong arm tactics' over a participation contract that falls into the wider dispute on the issue of whether players should be paid for playing in the biennial dust-up. 

The dispute was not resolved until early in September. 


It was why Schauffele didn't attend a reconnaissance trip to the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club with his teammates. Cantlay also didn't make the trip and both golfers had to deny rumours they were part of a locker-room split over the three-day competition. 

Cantlay was accused of staging a protest over pay by not wearing a hat and was goaded by the European fans when the story broke. 

For his part, Cantlay suggested the report was absolutely untrue but refused to comment on the subject of whether Ryder Cup players should be compensated. 

Stefan suggested the players were being 'smeared' over the contractual dispute. 

Xander Schauffele was asked by a reporter about the situation before the PGA Tour's ZOZO Championship in Japan. 

He was asked: "Your father suggested that Ryder Cup players be paid. Many people think that's probably a fair suggestion. What are the obstacles to having that happen and what do you think the resistance is to it from the public in general? In other words, you guys get paid for everything else, why not this?"

Schauffele replied: "If you look at what he said, I wasn't super fired up that he was speaking to media just because I know how things get twisted.

"I had to look back at what he said specifically and he specifically said that if the tournament's for-profit, then players should get paid.

"He also said that if it's charitable -- it should be a charitable event most likely and that everything should get donated."

He added:

"I don't know, when I look back on what he said, I think the headlines sort of skewed obviously what he was trying to say, but I don't think he ever really spoke directly to what you're referring to in terms of players getting paid.
"He just said it should be either or, not really as confusing as it is."

Stefan Schauffele previously told the paper the dispute was over a benefit agreement which was sent in July. 

The golfer reportedly wanted it to be amended in three places. 

One of the points of the disagreement was whether to allow the Netflix cameras in the team room, which players did not stand to directly benefit from financially. 

"The PGA of America were not willing to even talk to us about [the three amendments]," Stefan Schauffele previously told the paper. 

"It was very late in the schedule right before the team came here [to Rome] 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."

It was only when Seth Waugh, the chief executive of the PGA of America, stepped in was the issue swiftly resolved. 

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