March 14, 2024

McIlroy disagrees with Schauffele ‘trust’ comment amid LIV Golf demand | Golf | Sport


Rory McIlroy has backed PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan following fresh doubts about the tour boss from Xander Schauffele. Monahan split the membership last summer by agreeing on a deal to merge with LIV Golf before consulting the players.

McIlroy, 34, spoke out at the time about the shock announcement, calling it “hypocritical”. But the four-time major winner stopped short of calling for new leadership, unlike multiple others, including Schauffele.

Monahan remains in position months later, having kept a relatively low profile since last summer. But the calls for his resignation remain.

Those questions were put to the commissioner during a rare press conference at TPC Sawgrass before The Players Championship. Monahan backed himself as the best person for the job and insisted that the policy board agree.

Despite recently resigning from the board, McIlroy has endorsed the controversial commissioner considering the context of his seven-year premiership rather than focusing on the last 12 months. “You look at what Jay has done since he took over,” he explained, “the media rights deal, navigating us through Covid, the ­strategic alliance with the DP World Tour.

“Creating PGA Tour Enterprises; we were just able to accept $1.5bn into the business. People can nitpick and say he didn’t do this right or didn’t do that right, but if you actually step back and look at the bigger picture, I think the PGA Tour is in a far stronger position than when Jay took over.”

McIlroy acknowledged that “some of the ­reaction to 6 June was warranted”, but added: “At this point, it’s eight months ago, and we all need to move on. We all need to sort of move forward and try to bring the game back together.”

Schauffele is one player not ready to move on anytime soon and believes much of the membership agrees with him. “Trust is something that’s pretty tender,” he said during a press conference ahead of The Players, “so words are words, and I would say, in my book, he’s got a long way to go.

“He could be the guy, but in my book, he’s got a long way to go to gain the trust of the membership. I’m sure he’s got the support of the [policy] board since they were with him making some of those decisions, but for me personally, he’s got quite a ways to go.”



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