Sports | September 13, 2022 1:47 pm

Xander Schauffele “Wouldn’t Bet Against” PGA Tour Losing More Players to LIV Golf

He wasn't a member of the Tour, but top college player David Puig has announced he is turning pro and joining LIV

Xander Schauffele putt on the 18th green at the TOUR Championship.
Xander Schauffele doesn't believe defections from the PGA Tour are over.
Cliff Hawkins/Getty

In a new interview with GOLF Magazine, American golfer Xander Schauffele indicated he doesn’t believe the wave of defections of some of the PGA Tour’s top pros to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series is even close to coming to an end.

It appears he is right on the money as Arizona State senior David Puig, one of the top college players in the U.S., announced on Instagram on Monday that he’s turning pro and is almost certainly heading to LIV Golf, as he’s already played in two events on the series and is listed in the field for the circuit’s event this week outside Chicago. What the 20-year-old Spaniard is getting paid is unclear, but it’s probably more than he could make in any NIL deal.

“I think everybody has a number or a reason, and they don’t seem too afraid to shell out. So I could imagine, if you tell me five or 10 more guys are going to go in the next year, I wouldn’t bet against you,” Schauffele said. “I don’t know any more names personally, but the way things are going, based on our short historical analysis here, you wouldn’t bet against it, either.”

Currently slotted at No. 5 in the Offical World Golf Ranking after starting the year at No. 6, Schauffeler has a pretty good idea about what LIV Golf is all about as he’s met with members of the circuit and may have even been offered a boatload of cash to join the rebel series. “I felt like it was stupid for me not to do that,” he said of meeting with the group.

However, unlike other prominent ex-Tour members like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith, Schauffele ultimately decided he was going to stick with the PGA. That decision has been rewarded as the PGA announced a number of new initiatives last month that will put more guaranteed cash in the pockets of top players like Schauffele.

Following that announcement, Mickelson mocked the PGA Tour for “magically” finding the money to fund those changes after being unwilling to do so before the arrival of LIV Golf. As Schauffele acknowledged, Mickelson’s defection to LIV ultimately led to the PGA Tour making some of the changes that Lefty had been advocating for.

“He knew it would take something drastic, and he had to pick which side of the fence he wanted to be on,” Schauffele said. “He’s been such a staple on the PGA Tour and such a staple in our game of golf. I don’t hold anything against him or think of him much differently. Regardless of what people have written about him. The main points he was trying to make, and what he really wanted in his vision, you know maybe we’re living it out now on the PGA Tour. It’s unfortunate he isn’t a part of that, because this is what he so wanted.”