Xander Schauffele was an automatic qualifier for the United States team at the 2023 Ryder Cup, but it sounds like he was in danger of losing his spot at one point.
Schauffele's father Stefan told The Times of London (h/t Reuters) his son could have been removed from the team over a contract dispute.
Stefan said that Xander was hoping to make three amendments to the player participation and benefit agreement in the contract but the PGA of America threatened to pull him from the team if he didn't sign by the September deadline.
"The PGA of America were not willing to even talk to us about [the three amendments]," he told The Times. "It was very late in the schedule right before the team came [to Rome] to practice because they had moved the deadline and they said, 'If you don't sign it by then, you're off the team,' but they never gave us the contact information of their legal counsel."
He continued: "Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend, finally, the head of the PGA of America got wind of this, because it was not him that was blocking it, and put our lawyers in contact with the PGA of America's general counsel, and then it took a few hours to hash it out and it was fine. Then I received a message that Xander was back on the team. That you can quote. That's the extent of this and I think it's shameful."
Xander Schauffele and the United States team lost to the European team 16.5-11.5 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club outside Rome. It's the eighth time in the last 11 Ryder Cups that the Americans have come up short, and they have not won in Europe since 1993.
Schauffele reportedly wasn't alone in his desire to have his contract adjusted. While Patrick Cantlay denied a report that he thought players should be compensated for participating in the Ryder Cup, both he and Schauffele "apparently wanted the player agreement amended so that a Netflix documentary crew didn't have access to the team room while filming a second season of the Full Swing series, for which players are not compensated." The team eventually voted unanimously to keep the cameras out of the room.
The PGA of America declined to comment on the allegation from Schauffele's father. Players are paid $200,000 to a charity of their choosing for playing in the Ryder Cup.
"They are using players' intellectual properties to make money and the American players don't get paid," Stefan Schauffele told The Times. "More importantly, this would become a non-issue if all proceeds, net proceeds, from the Ryder Cup were to be donated to common charitable causes. Right now, the American players are asked to donate their time pro-bono in the name of patriotism so these organizations can benefit from the profits."
He added: "The PGA [of America] uses this money, and the PGA Tour gets 20 percent that goes into the retirement of every member. The 12 players supposedly need to eat it and their intellectual property gets abused for the benefit of 200 other people. That's not right."