Unsurprising Jay Monahan criticism paints harsh reality

Xander Schauffele's comments convey exactly how much current PGA Tour members trust Jay Monahan.
Jay Monahan - THE PLAYERS Championship
Jay Monahan - THE PLAYERS Championship / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has come under fire from players, golf fans, and the media alike ever since the unexpected news that he had been secretly brokering a potential deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) came to light last summer.

Unsurprisingly, this news came as a massive shock to PGA Tour players when it first broke during last summer's RBC Canadian Open, particularly for those who had previously defended Monahan and the tour's handling of the whole LIV Golf saga.

Count Xander Schauffele as the current commissioner's most recent critic. Coming off of his emotional first career win in a major at last month's PGA Championship, Schauffele, in a scathing interview with The Times, expressed his displeasure with how Jay Monahan has led tour membership of late.

Schauffele aired his grievances with the PGA Tour Commissioner noting that he felt particularly let down by Monahan's lack of willingness to stand up and defend the current membership.

“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…", Schauffele said in the interview with The Times.

Xander Schauffele blasts Jay Monahan in scathing interview

"He didn’t take a stand when anyone left, he didn’t come out to the public and face the music, none of that…. 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…."

Xander Schauffele

Xander notes in the interview how he has been critical of Monahan in the past and he certainly isn't the only player to have publicly gone on record in expressing their displeasure with the current leadership, specifically Jay Monahan himself.

While players including Rory McIlroy had been advocates for the PGA Tour Commissioner previously, several others including both Matt Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland, to name a few, have been skeptical of Jay Monahan on previous occasions.

“There were some things that were said that have been walked back on and then things have been very contradictory,” Hovland stated prior to the PLAYERS Championship in March. “As a leader of an organization, I will want a person like that to take some ownership and say, hey, we made a couple of mistakes, but this is how we’re going to rectify it, instead of kind of sweeping it under the rug, which I felt like has been done to a certain degree."

Xander added in the revealing interview that the tour membership needed someone who would take a stand in front of everyone and lead the way, someone who would take control of a difficult situation and defend the players on tour.

The seemingly endless frustrations with Commissioner Monahan amongst players continue to emphasize just how poorly mismanaged the whole situation over the past several years has been and how it's increasingly evident just how much trust there is to be rebuilt between himself and the players; if such a thing is even possible at this point.

Anytime someone comes out and speaks against Monahan or the PGA Tour these days it immediately raises questions about a potential move to LIV Golf, however, Schauffele was quick to put any such ideas to bed later in the same interview.

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Xander Schauffele will now turn his attention toward this week's Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour where he will aim to follow up the first-time major win with a first-ever win at Jack's Place, one of the most iconic and well-respected venues on the PGA Tour schedule year in and year out.