Top golf pros Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth say PGA Tour Commish Jay Monahan has to rebuild trust

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The PGA Tour and LIV Golf announced merger plans last month

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is set to return to work next week, and some top pro golfers believe he has some work to do before he regains trust.

Xander Schauffele said he lost a significant amount of trust in Monahan. 


Xander Schauffele shakes hand with PGA Tour Commissioner

Xander Schauffele of the U.S. shakes hands with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan after the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club Jan. 6, 2019, in Lahaina, Hawaii.   (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Jordan Speith noted that, "based on conversations" he's had with fellow players, Monahan will need to rebuild trust.

"I’d say he has a lot of tough questions to answer in his return," Schauffele said at the Scottish Open. "And yeah, I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust, and he has a lot less of it now."

Schauffele added that he was not the only player who believed Monahan needed to regain trust. 

"So, I don’t stand alone when I say that," Schauffele said.

When asked if Monahan would have trust issues with the players, Spieth replied: "Quite a bit, just based on conversations I’ve had with players. And I think he realizes that. I’m sure he’s preparing for a plan to try and build it back."

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A week after Monahan announced a commercial partnership with the Public Investment Fund, the tour said a "medical situation" prompted Monahan to turn over daily operations of the tour to two executives.

Last week, Monahan sent a memo to players to inform them he would resume his role as the PGA Tour commissioner July 17. 

Monahan did not take part in the Senate hearing Tuesday, where documents outlined some of the conversations that led to the framework agreement.

Jordan Spieth at the TOUR Championship

Jordan Spieth walks to the ninth hole during the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club Aug. 28, 2022, in Atlanta.  (Tracy Wilcox/PGA Tour via Getty Images)

Players were sent a 275-page file of the documents Congress obtained ahead of the three-hour hearing. Some watched part of it or read through a few excerpts of the documents. Spieth chose to play golf at North Berwick instead.

Monahan and two board members — Jimmy Dunne and board Chairman Ed Herlihy — negotiated the agreement announced June 6 with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Rory McIlroy has been among the strongest voices in the PGA Tour’s battle against LIV Golf. He said he felt like a "sacrificial lamb" when he spoke to the media a day after the deal was announced during the Canadian Open.

Jay Monahan with Scott Scheffler

Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner, speaks with winner Scottie Scheffler of the U.S. during a trophy ceremony after the final round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass March 12, 2023, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

McIlroy gave two television interviews ahead of the Scottish Open, which starts Thursday. And then he walked past a dozen reporters. When asked if he had time to talk, his manager intervened to say McIlroy wouldn’t be speaking about the hearing.

Schauffele said he glanced through some of the documents and started to watch a link to the hearing until he ultimately decided to sleep instead.

He referred to this as "one of the rockier times" on the PGA Tour but said it would be less unsettling if the players stick together. But his biggest issue seemed to revolve around the lack of transparency at the management level.

Xander Schauffele plays a shot at the U.S. Open

Xander Schauffele of the U.S. plays a shot from a bunker on the sixth hole during the first round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club June 15, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

"There isn’t much communication right now, and things are a little bit unsettling. And there is a bit of a divide between management and the players, if you want to call it that," Schauffele said. "And my hope is that a positive thing coming from that will be more communication, more transparency and sort of understanding which direction the tour will go with us being sort of the ambassadors of it."

The British Open, the final major of the year, begins next week.

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