Augusta National Golf Club can have execs from each the PGA Tour and LIV Golf in attendance at this yr’s Masters event, and a few predict tensions to be excessive.
Seven-time PGA Tour winner Jon Rahm spoke to reporters about it forward of this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions and mentioned, regardless of not being invited, he imagines the Champions Dinner might get fairly uncomfortable.
“One thing I keep going back to, and it’s probably only funny to me,” he mentioned Tuesday, through Golf.com. “I think the Masters Champions Dinner’s going to be a little tense compared to how it’s been in the past.”
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Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley launched a press release final month asserting plans to permit golfers who already certified for the event based mostly on its earlier standards to be eligible to play in April.
“Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it,” Ridley mentioned on the time. “Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.
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“Therefore, as invitations are sent this week, we will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament.”
The checklist consists of Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel, all former PGA Tour members who defected to the rival Saudi-backed circuit.
But outdoors of a clumsy dinner, Rahm doesn’t consider these tensions will carry over to the course.
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“I think it’s going to be the same,” he mentioned. “I didn’t feel a difference in any of the majors last year. If somebody has a problem with LIV players, they’re just not going to deal with them and that’s about it. In my mind, like I’ve said it before, I respect their choice and the ones I was friends with before I’m still going to be friends with, right? It doesn’t change the way I’m going to operate with them.”
The 87th installment of the Masters is scheduled to start April 6.