Scheffler expects no LIV-PGA tension at Masters champs dinner
World number one Scottie Scheffler said Wednesday that he expects some of golf’s greatest legends will put aside the PGA Tour-LIV Golf feud at next month’s Masters Champions Dinner.
Scheffler, coming off a victory at The Players Championship on Sunday, revealed his menu for this year’s gathering after winning last year’s green jacket at Augusta National.
The 26-year-old American also said that he hasn’t decided what he will say in his speech to the past winners, but he will count upon them to be on their best manners despite a split that has divided golf’s elite talent.
“I haven’t totally decided what I’ll say,” Scheffler said. “I’m not quite sure what the vibe will be like but I think we’re all there to play in the tournament and celebrate the Masters and celebrate all being past champions.
“I think the dinner will be really special for all of us to be able to gather together again and I’m sure we’ll put all that other stuff aside and just have a good time together.
“Just because guys joined another tour doesn’t mean that I’m not friends with them anymore and that I think differently of them as people. They are still my friends and we’re all just going to hang out and have a good time.”
The Saudi-backed LIV Golf League has opened its second campaign and players gather this week in Tucson, Arizona, while the PGA Valspar Championship is being staged near Tampa, Florida.
With record $25 million purses and 54-hole events, LIV Golf lured away several top players from the PGA last year, resulting in a ban from playing tour events and a court case set to reach trial next year.
The PGA Tour has made changes to its format and prize money to better compete with LIV offerings, but hard feelings remain from some players at the rebels.
LIV and PGA players will compete against each other at all four of this year’s major championships, which have not followed the tour in banning LIV talent.
Three-time Masters champion and six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed, South African Charl Schwartzel and Spain’s Sergio Garcia are LIV Golf players who have won green jackets to earn a spot at the Champions Dinner.
Mickelson said Wednesday that he has no idea what awaits on his trip down Magnolia Lane for the year’s first major on April 6-9.
“No expectations. We are grateful to just be able to play and compete and be a part of it,” Mickelson said. “A lot of the people there that are playing and competing in the Masters are friend for decades and I’m looking forward to seeing them again.”
Scheffler’s menu includes Texas ribeye steak, blackened redfish, tortilla soup, firecracker shrimp, cheeseburger sliders and a warm chocolate chip skillet cookie with ice cream.
Scheffler had a chance to practice at Augusta National, including the lengthened par-5 13th hole.
“It’s like 30 yards longer probably,” he said. “I usually hit a big hooking 3-wood off that tee and now I hit driver on a little bit of a different angle. So it has definitely changed the hole significantly.
“You could see more guys laying up to that hole, especially depending upon pin position, but we’ll see how it plays during the tournament.”