All eyes will be on the world’s top golfers at Augusta National Golf Club but don’t expect any more drama beyond that.
The PGA Tour and LIV Golf Tour have been embroiled in a heated war of words since the Saudi-funded league was founded in 2021. The PGA Tour has barred those who have left the tour for the upstart league at its events, and LIV Golf has taken the PGA to court in an antitrust civil case.
Majors like the Masters are the exception to the ban, which has created heightened drama for fans. That was on display at last year’s Open Championship when Cameron Smith beat out Rory McIlroy.
But past Masters champions don’t expect heightened stakes involving the two leagues come April 6.
“Obviously, the media and the storylines are going to be obviously LIV versus PGA Tour and all that kind of stuff, but really, at the majors, top players in the world are going and playing against each other no matter where they come from,” Patrick Reed told reporters, per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “For us, at least for myself, it’s going to be business as usual going out and playing.”
“I’m going to be honest, man,” Bubba Watson told reporters, per Schlabach. “It’s only awkward in the media. I’ve talked to people that are going to be there. I’m going to sign up with Jason Day and (Cameron) Young in the Par 3 (tournament). Some guys have already asked me to play some practice rounds.
“Media is the only one that is pushing it. I have nothing against anybody. If you change jobs, I’m not mad at you. If you start reporting for somebody else, hey, man, it’s a better decision for you and your family. Have at it.”
That’s the narrative LIV players are going with a week away from the Masters. Once competitors arrive at Augusta National Golf Club, things could change.