Xander Schauffele says his father’s feelings about whether Ryder Cup players should be paid to compete were taken out of context.
Speaking on Wednesday at a press conference in Japan ahead of the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship, Schauffele said, “If you look at what he said, I wasn’t super fired up that he was speaking to media just because I know how things get twisted. I had to look back at what he said specifically and he specifically said that if the tournament’s for-profit, then players should get paid. He also said that if it’s charitable — it should be a charitable event most likely and that everything should get donated.”
The topic of whether competitors should be paid to play in the Ryder Cup became a topic of controversy in Rome during last month’s Ryder Cup when it was reported that American Patrick Cantlay refused to wear a Team USA cap as a sign of protest.
There is no purse at the Ryder Cup. The only prize is the 17-inch tall golden cup that the winner possesses for the next two years. But players and captains are given charitable donations of $200,000 each (vice captains receive a smaller amount), which they are able to gift to the charity of their choice. The PGA Tour also banks 20 percent of Ryder Cup TV profits, which is distributed to the Tour’s pension plan. Is that enough? Stefan Schauffele isn’t so sure.
“If they make profit off this and finance their organization of almost 29,000 [PGA of America] members for four years with the proceeds earned on the backs of these guys here, well, then they should share or they shouldn’t be allowed to do that,” Stefan told Golf.com. “Alternatively, they can donate all proceeds after opening the books to a charity of our joint choice, and then we will happily play for free. Please print that.”
While Cantlay was being grilled during the U.S. team’s press conference after losing the Ryder Cup about whether he didn’t wear a hat to avoid tan lines at his upcoming wedding, Xander Schauffele jumped in and said, “I apologize for anything my father said.”
A few weeks after the fact in Japan, Xander added, “I don’t know, when I look back on what he said, I think the headlines sort of skewed obviously what he was trying to say, but I don’t think he ever really spoke directly to what you’re referring to in terms of players getting paid. He just said it should be either/or, not really as confusing as it is.”