PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had, earlier on Tuesday, stated that he’s the best person to lead the tour going forward in these turbulent times with LIV Golf having poached some of the game’s best players.

When the embattled Monahan was asked if he has the “full confidence of all the players’’ that he’s the “right man to move this deal forward,’’ he said, “That’s a question that you’ll have to ask for players. But clearly given the responsibility I’ve been given by both boards, I have the support of our board, and I am the right person to lead us forward. I know that. I believe that in my heart, and I’m determined to do exactly that.’’

About two hours later, Xander Schauffele was asked about players’ trust in Monahan and he not only didn’t avoid the question, he didn’t mince words in his answer.

“Trust is something that’s pretty tender, so words are words, and I would say in my book he’s got a long way to go,’’ Schauffele said. “He could be the guy, but in my book, he’s got a long way to go to gain the trust of the membership. I’m sure he’s got the support of the board, since they were with him making some of those decisions, but for me personally, he’s got quite a ways to go.’’

The “decisions’’ Schauffele referred to have been the supposed work on the PGA Tour’s negotiation with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and LIV Golf on the terms of the “framework agreement’’ that was made last June — behind the players’ backs. 

Even Patrick Cantlay, who is a member of the board, played a game of semantics when asked about Monahan on Tuesday.

When Cantlay was asked if he agreed with Monahan’s assertion that he has the confidence of the board and is the right person to lead, he was carefully vague in his answer.

“I think it’s really important that we’re all rowing in the same direction,’’ he said. “I think with this PGA Tour Enterprises board (the tour’s for-profit group), I think it’s really exciting that we do have a chance to kind of start with something new and all move together in the right direction.’’

A few questions later, Cantlay was asked by another reporter if he could clarify his answer to the first question about Monahan, asked again if he believes Monahan is the right leader for the PGA Tour.

Yeah, I think it’s very important that we’re all rowing in the same direction,’’ Cantlay said again. “And right now, he’s definitely our leader so it’s important that we’re all doing our best, rowing in the right direction to do what’s best for the membership and the Tour.’’

Not exactly a cracking endorsement of the commissioner, who’s been widely criticized for his gross mishandling of the LIV Golf threat from the start and then keeping his players in the dark before getting into bed with the Saudi leaders with that “framework agreement’’ announcement that blindsided everyone.

“Balancing the interests of a membership of 200-plus players is complicated and it’s challenging,’’ Monahan said. “But, however we end up, I think that we’re not going to be able to satisfy everyone, and that goes for both sides (PGA Tour and LIV). But what we’re trying to do is to get to the best possible outcome again for the Tour and for the game, and I do think that that’s achievable.

“We’re fortunate to have a group of player directors and a strong Player Advisory Council with a strong system in place, where ultimately as we go forward and we make more progress, our player directors represent our members. They’re doing an exceedingly good job of doing just that.

“I think when you’re in a negotiation like this and you’re in a time like this, it requires open-mindedness, it requires flexibility, and it requires a long-term view and a long-term vision.’’

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