Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Xander Schauffele’s dad confirms LIV Golf stance after PGA Championship win

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Xander Schauffele’s dad has ruled out the prospect of his son joining LIV Golf after his breakthrough win at the PGA Championship.

Schauffele secured his first major with an outstanding victory at Valhalla, emerging top of the leaderboard by a single stroke at the end of a free-scoring edition.

The American holed a birdie putt on the last to hold off Bryson DeChambeau for a breakthrough win after a series of major near misses over the last few years.

His win will allow him an exemption into golf’s biggest events, with Schauffele guaranteed entry for the rest of his career into the PGA and for the next five editions of the other three majors.

Speculation has suggested that this could make him a more likely target for LIV, whose players cannot currently earn ranking points to access the majors in any other way.

But Stefan Schauffele — a familiar presence on the PGA Tour as his son’s swing coach — insists that the 30-year-old will rebuff any offer from the Saudi-backed series.

“No chance,” he told GOLF.com. “Xander is not chasing the money. Xander is about legacy. And as my opinion — just as his father — there was never a chance.

“What we told LIV in Saudi Arabia, with Xander beside me, was that if there is no path back to the PGA Tour and if there is no chance at World Ranking points we do not have anything to talk about. Even if you throw hundreds of millions of dollars at him. That word still stands.”

Stefan Schauffele is his son’s swing coach (Getty Images)

Schauffele, an Olympic gold medallist at Tokyo 2020, had finished in the top ten 12 times at majors before his Louisville triumph.

He went wire-to-wire as leader, sparkling with an opening round 62 before shooting a final day 65 to finish at 21 under par, a new record total.

“All those close calls for me, that sort of feeling gets to you at some point,” Schauffele admitted. “It just makes this even sweeter. I know it’s a major, but just winning in general this is as sweet as it gets for me.

Asked how he had been affected by the narrative of his near misses, Schauffele added: “Definitely a chip on the shoulder there.

“You guys are asking the questions, probing, and I have to sit here and answer it. It’s a lot easier to answer it with this thing [Wanamaker Trophy] sitting next to me now, obviously.

“It’s just fuel, fuel to my fire. It always has been growing up, and it certainly was leading up to this.”

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