Xander Schauffele wins golf gold in Kawagoe
Xander Schauffele turned down an offer to join LIV Golf Image Credit: AP

Xander Schauffele is confident that based on historical trends, golfers from the LIV Golf League and PGA Tour will resume regular competition against each other within the next three years.

Since LIV Golf launched in 2022, the PGA Tour has lost some of its biggest names, with the likes of Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau defecting to the Saudi-backed circuit.

All of those players have been suspended from the PGA Tour, leaving golf’s No.1 circuit with a weaker product.

Talks are currently ongoing between the PGA Tour and Public Investment Fund, the funders of LIV Golf, to try and heal the fractures the game, with several player directors, including Tiger Woods and Patrick Cantlay, meeting Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of PIF, to talk about the direction of the game earlier this week in the Bahamas.

“My guess would be that we would all be playing together again,” Schauffele responded when asked what he thought golf would look like in three years ahead of this week’s Valspar Championship.

“I think that's what fans would want, I think that's what TV would want, and golf as a whole would probably be better off that way. Just like all sports when they have been fractured, they have always come back together. So, I'm just going to lean on the side of history.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan revealed he had a “constructive” conversation with Al-Rumayyan in the Bahamas but remained coy on the details of any potential deal.

The talks represented “an important part of our due diligence process in selecting potential investors for PGA Tour Enterprises”, Monahan said in a memo to players following the meeting.

“With the meeting yesterday, I don't know if you referred to that with the PIF, there's more questions looming, and I don't think many players are too privy of information,” said Schauffele.

“Jay's been trying to be transparent with e-mails based on what's happening. He obviously can't reveal information of talks that are ongoing to the membership, which obviously makes sense, but he's been trying to be as transparent as possible on that front.”

Schauffle’s career could have looked very different to how it looks now had he chosen to join LIV Golf, with the seven-time PGA Tour winner previously admitting he had met with representatives of the breakaway circuit before turning down a deal.

One of the stumbling blocks of talks between the PGA Tour and PIF seems to be the issue of whether LIV players should be afforded a route back to the PGA Tour without any sort of penalty.

Several PGA Tour players, including Schauffele, remained loyal to the circuit in turning down offers, while the likes of Mickelson and Koepka accepted huge cash offers to leave – would those who remained loyal be content with the defectors just coming back?

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson joined LIV Golf in 2022 for a reported $200 million Image Credit: LIV Golf

“I think that goes into the accept boat for me, if we're going to run that sort of scheme on your question here,” said Schauffele when asked if he would be annoyed if someone from LIV was able to come back and keep all the money PGA Tour players chose not to take or turned down.

“I have to accept sort of any decision I was going to make a long time ago regarding to what you just mentioned with money and moving and them coming back and stuff of that nature.

“So, I'm very content with where I sit right now and I would have chosen otherwise if I - I don't have any regrets of what I've done or what I'm doing, so I'm sleeping just fine at night knowing where I stand.”