After the Europeans trounced the Americans at the Ryder Cup, Stefan Schauffele, Xander’s father, commented on the competition’s financials.
In doing so, he called for more transparency from the PGA of America, the organization that facilitates the Ryder Cup from the American side.
“If the PGA of America is a for-profit organization, they need to have the players share in that profit instead of being so damned intransparent about it with intent,” Stefan Schauffele said to the No Laying Up podcast.
“They should reveal the numbers, and then we should go to the table and talk. Alternatively, they can donate all proceeds after opening the books to a charity of our joint choice, and then we will happily play for free. Please print that.”
Indeed, reporters from around the world took note of his comments in Rome, and now, almost a month later, his son Xander has come to his defense at the ZOZO Championship in Japan.
“If you look at what he said, I wasn’t super fired up that he was speaking to the media just because I know how things get twisted,” Xander Schauffele said Wednesday.
“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.”
The PGA of America currently allocates $200,000 for each American player, according to Golf Monthly. That sum is split evenly between educational charities selected by the PGA of America and an organization chosen by the player.
Ryder Cup participants are not paid directly; instead, it is a philanthropic event.
Of course, rumors swirled around Patrick Cantlay during this year’s competition. Some pundits speculated that Cantlay’s refusal to wear a hat during play was a protest against the PGA of America’s payment program.
Hence why, Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, celebrated the way he did on the 18th green after his player holed a 43-foot putt to win the match. European fans waved their hats towards Cantlay all day, trying to rattle him.
But that incident frustrated Rory McIlroy, as LaCava got too close to his putting line while celebrating. McIlroy got heated in the parking lot that evening.
Nevertheless, the golfing world seems to have moved on from the incident.
Yet, in Japan, Schauffele noted that the media “skewed” what his father said that week.
“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 playing getting paid,” Xander added.
“He just said it should be either or, not really as confusing as it is.”