July 23, 2024

Tiger Woods will play in his first PGA Tour event in seven months at the upcoming Hero World Challenge, but will not be joined by the initially committed Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele have opted to withdraw from this month’s Hero World Challenge, after it was announced that the event would play host to Tiger Woods’ competitive return.

At first, Cantlay and Schauffele were listed as two of the 19 players who had committed to the Albany Golf Club tournament in the Bahamas. With the label “TBA Tournament Exemption,” one spot in the 20-man field was left empty. Woods, who hasn’t participated since withdrawing from the Masters in April, has since taken this spot.

Along with the confirmation of Woods’ eagerly anticipated return, there was news of two tournament withdrawals: Cantlay and Schauffele had decided not to participate in the year-end event in the Caribbean.

Less than a month has passed since the two were involved in controversy during the Ryder Cup in Rome, which led them to decide not to participate in the limited-field competition. Cantlay and Schauffele were both members of the 12-man American squad that was defeated 16.5-11.5 at Marco Simone by their European rivals.

Particularly for Cantlay and Schauffele, it was a week to forget both on and off the course for the Americans. The former oversaw a “split” in the Team USA locker room on day two of the competition, according to a report from Sky Sports, because players weren’t compensated to participate in the team event.

The American camp later downplayed the report’s allegations that Cantlay and Schauffele, who are well-known to be close friends, were seated apart from the rest of their teammates in the U.S. locker room. Cantlay reportedly refused to wear a cap as a sign of protest against not getting paid to represent his country.

Although Cantlay dismissed the possibility of any internal conflict within the team, he could not disguise his annoyance at not receiving payment for his performance. When asked about it in Rome, he responded, “It has nothing to do with that. It all comes down to representing Team USA and our nation.

When questioned further, he gave the same response: “That’s all I have to say about that… The hat is too small. Both this week and at Whistling Straits, it didn’t fit. Everyone is aware of that. Schauffele became involved in the storyline as well when his father Stefan implied that Team USA members ought to get a cut of the money made by the PGA of America, which oversees the U.S. Ryder Cup setup.

In the aftermath, Schauffele was quick to defend his father, saying his remarks about pay were “skewed.” At this month’s event in the Bahamas, Justin Rose, a rival from Europe, and Lucas Glover, another American, will take the place of the American and his teammate Patrick Cantlay.

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