Xander Schauffele believes publicly committing your future to the PGA Tour is a strong sign you could be about to do the opposite…
Not all of LIV Golf’s signings have been expected. Some of them constituted complete U-turns.
Xander Schauffele believes pledging your allegiance to the US circuit is a sign that a player will leave based on the evidence of the last two years.
This would explain why the American hesitated to rule out a move to the Saudi-funded circuit when being quizzed on why his name often appears in the LIV Golf rumour mill.
“It’s funny – when asked about it, I feel like I’ve always just tried to be as honest as possible, and I dodge the question because I’m not going to pledge to the tour,” he told Dan Rapaport on the Fore Play podcast.
“Maybe a handful of guys have done this, but I’m not like ‘I’m going to play here forever’ and I’m not saying I’m going to go there. I’m just saying I’m here right now, which is just a fact, and then I got wrecked on the matter.
“The funniest thing is that everyone who says they’re going to stay – as soon as I hear someone saying, ‘I’m for sure staying, I’m pledging’, I’m like, you’re gone! – You just end up lying.
Schauffele revealed in an interview with Golf.com in September 2022 that he’d met with LIV Golf and it would’ve been “stupid” not to.
His close friend Patrick Cantlay has also revealed his team had discussions with the breakaway league, but the former FedEx Cup champion has declined multiple offers.
Xander Schauffele: ‘I’m here now and I’m enjoying playing here now’
One player to nail himself to the PGA Tour post, and somewhat contradict Schauffele’s logic, is Rory McIlroy who asserts he’s never received an offer from Greg Norman’s rebel circuit.
The likes of Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth would be other loyalists of note, but what events have shown and what Schauffele alludes to is that surprises can happen.
Schauffele has begun a four-week stretch on the PGA Tour that will see him play at Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach, TPC Scottsdale and Riviera consecutively.
His short-term future on tour would appear in no doubt, but the Olympic gold medallist believes the LIV talk stems from his reluctance to commit his long-term future.
“In the moment, if you’re not really thinking sharp or if someone puts some heat on you, you might say the wrong thing and it’ll come back and bite you when your mind changes,” he added.
“So, I just try to be as truthful as possible and that’s being really safe. I’m here now and I’m enjoying playing here now, and people are like ‘that guy is leaving!’”
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