Patrick Cantlay’s choice not to wear a hat dominated the 2023 Ryder Cup, and Xander Schauffele wanted the US side to embrace this in the Sunday singles…
Xander Schauffele wanted all of his US teammates to play without a hat on the final day of the Ryder Cup.
Controversy surrounding Patrick Cantlay’s choice not to wear a hat gripped the event last September when Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir claimed it was done in frustration at not being paid to play.
When Cantlay secured a crucial point for America on the final hole of his Saturday fourballs match, his teammates celebrated by waving their hats, a jibe hundreds of European fans had aimed at him throughout the second day.
Schauffele, a close friend of Cantlay, told the Fore Play podcast he wanted the team to support him with mass removal of their headwear, and joked about the rumours around the US team room.
“It was what it was at that time, it’s a hot week, people were trying to win for the first time in forever, people were trying to defend with the home court advantage there, so our team got more of a laugh out of it than anything else,” he said.
“What PC (Patrick Cantlay) did there was give us some life and it felt like going to bed that day, it was like wow, we’ve got a chance.
“No. I’ve got to help my boy out,” he said when asked if he wore a hat on singles Sunday in Rome. “I was trying to get the whole team to show up without a hat on, like come on guys.
“But Brian (Harman) was like, ‘My tan lines, my head is so white, it’s going to burn!’”
Weir also wrote in a post on X/Twitter that Cantlay led a split on the US side and that he and Schauffele sat in “separate areas of the team dressing room.”
Some US players laughed off these claims during the Saturday evening press conference in Italy, while captain Zach Johnson called it “one of the most united teams I have ever been associated with.”
“It was fun, the team was funny,” Schauffele added. “We all ate in the same room so that was cool…
“Our group chat still flows every once in a while. PC and I were in the dungeon, having dinner by ourselves – It’s laughable.”
Schauffele’s idea didn’t come to fruition and despite Cantlay’s heroics on day two at Marco Simone, Europe went on to victory by 16.5 points to 11.5.
Xander Schauffele: Ryder Cup comments from his father ‘didn’t help at all’
As well as drama and chaos surrounding an item of clothing, another unlikely source of controversy during the 44th Ryder Cup was Schauffele’s father, Stefan.
In a report from Tom Kershaw of the Times, Stefan said his son’s place on Team USA had been in doubt due to a dispute concerning an agreement to allow the cameras of Netflix’s Full Swing docu-series into the team room.
This issue allegedly wasn’t solved until a week before the event and the USA eventually denied Netlfix access to preserve the “sanctity and sacredness of Team USA.”
Then, Stefan said the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe “need to be more transparent and disclose how this money from the Ryder Cup is being distributed.”
“They are using players’ intellectual properties to make money and the American players don’t get paid,” he added.
His words added fuel to the raging fire that was the Ryder Cup pay debate.
More evidence was stacked against Cantlay when the Fire Pit Collective reported that Cantlay had told US television reporter Steve Sands he’d wear a hat “when I’m paid to be here like he is,” allegedly motioning towards PGA of America executive Julius Mason on the 1st tee box at the tournament.
Here is what Schauffele said about his father’s behaviour:
“I had a long chat with him – he’s like the last person I need to speak to the media – he didn’t go rogue, but I was like dude, no matter if you have a really good point or not, it’s going to get twisted.
“He always taught me to be really safe with media. Let your clubs talk, that’s what he hammered into me as a kid, just let your clubs talk.
“I was like, that’s the opposite. He’s not a player but I was like, pipe down man – just be easy. It definitely didn’t help at all.
“He has really good intentions. The whole thing got twisted up and like I said, I really don’t care that much about it.”
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