CROMWELL, Conn. — Xander Schauffele is aware of the excitement has been flying just like the majestic strategy pictures he hit to the 18 greens of TPC River Highlands in regulation Thursday on the Vacationers Championship.
Schauffele, at 28, ranked fifteenth on this planet, a five-time PGA Tour winner and has completed within the high seven of eight main championships since 2017, has been a first-rate goal for the Greg Norman-led LIV Golf tour.
It ticks each field for LIV Golf: younger, already completed as an Olympic gold medal winner, and in his prime.
Phrase on the road amongst some gamers and caddies is that Schauffele will finally observe Brooks KoepkaBryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson, three fellow gamers within the prime of their careers who’ve made the leap to the Saudi Arabia-backed tour that’s revolutionizing the PGA Tour institution.
Schauffele has had so much on his thoughts recently.
You’d by no means know from the 7-under 63 he posted within the Vacationers’ first spherical, leaving him one shot behind Rory McIlroy and JT Poston.
It was, certainly, a spectacular begin for Schauffele. However questions stay about the place it goes from right here. Not the following three days at Vacationers, however after that. To LIV or to not LIV?
“I really feel very snug the place I’m proper now…on the PGA Tour,” Schauffele instructed The Put up after his spherical in a clear and wide-ranging interview. “You need to communicate on the whole phrases, clearly, to keep away from moving into hassle. [later].”
Translation: Watch Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka, who all stated “no” in public to the Saudis earlier than lastly caving in on their respective costs and saying “sure,” strikes that sabotaged their credibility.
Schauffele hasn’t shut the door on LIV Golf, and he is not afraid to let it get out.
“I used to be involved with them, however truthfully, it has been a very long time,” Schauffele stated. “Initially, I used to be involved with them, however not too long ago I have never been.”
Schauffele admitted that he “struggles with himself” over whether or not to stay with the established order or go for the cash. Phil Mickelson was paid $200 million to affix, Johnson $125 million, and DeChambeau $100 million.
“My coronary heart tells me to remain right here, and it tells me to make this tour one of the best it may be,” Schauffele stated. “Clearly, I can not do this individually. I need assistance from different gamers and I need assistance from the commissioner, Jay. [Monahan]and all the opposite employees members to consider that this tour goes to be one of the best and that they should maintain it that approach.”
Schauffele praised Monahan for his Tuesday announcement on rising event purses and a condensed scheduleparts that cater to the tour’s high gamers, saying the advert “could also be useful in protecting guys on this tour.
“However it could possibly’t cease there,” he added. “You need to maintain urgent.”
Schauffele then boldly went to a spot no different participant has gone. He referred to as on all 4 main championships to observe Monahan’s lead in growing purses.
“The large ones have by no means disclosed their funds,” he stated. “If Memorial, Genesis and Arnold Palmer can leap from $12 million to $20 million [purses]so I am certain these races can go increased.”
Schauffele stated he “thinks everybody has a quantity” that will draw them to LIV Golf, however stated he would not know what his quantity is.
“I am 28 years outdated and I really like enjoying golf, and the safer facet clearly is to remain on this tour and make it higher,” he stated. “If I had a ridiculous supply from the opposite facet, it will most likely make me assume. However on the similar time, I actually have to consider why I like being right here and why I am motivated to follow and enhance.”
He stated he spent numerous time speaking to his “workforce” and his spouse, Maya, about whether or not to remain or go.
“I’ve requested him many instances, ‘Do you assume I prefer to play for cash?’ Schauffele stated. “I do not thoughts getting cash, however my real love is playing. And that places me in a tough place.”
A part of the pull to remain on the PGA Tour is that this: At the very least for the foreseeable future, LIV Golf cannot create the electrical energy the sport delivered Sunday at The Nation Membership within the last spherical of the US Open.
“It truly is about custom,” Schauffele stated. “The majors aren’t even a part of the PGA Tour, however I really feel like they run parallel. All of it comes right down to how conventional you’re as a person versus how progressive you wish to be.
“The PGA Tour has gotten caught in being very conventional, and so they’ve been extra progressive, making an attempt to alter and enhance. They are saying the opposite tour will not be a menace, however why else would they be dancing so quick to make strikes?
“I am not against them changing into a bit of bit extra proactive versus reactive.”