Scottie Scheffler jokes about Masters champions dinner seating chart for LIV Golf players
PGA Tour

Scottie Scheffler jokes about Masters champions dinner seating chart for LIV Golf players

A picture of golfer Scottie Scheffler

With the great schism in pro golf in 2022, the major championships have become and will likely continue to be slightly awkward affairs where PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf players get together to compete.

Nowhere will it perhaps be more awkward than at the Masters Tournament, which is the only invitational major championship. Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley has been said to be opposed to the Saudi-backed concept, but the club and the tournament chose to invite any player -- LIV Golf or otherwise -- that met one of the published criteria to earn a 2023 Masters invitation. That means a variety of LIV Golf players have been invited to compete in the Masters come April.

A number of those LIV Golf players (Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed) earned invites as former Masters champions. The added perk for those players is an invitation to the annual Masters champions dinner, held the Tuesday before the tournament. It's a unique gathering of living Masters champions, and the defending champion puts on the meal and pays the tab for the others.

In 2023, Scottie Scheffler will be the defending champion, having won his first green jacket last April to complete a meteoric rise to No. 1 in the world. Not only will the Texan be handling the menu, but he joked with LIV Golf player Bubba Watson that he'll have a special seating arrangement for the LIV Golf players in attendance.

Watson and wife, Angie, were in a Tennessee restaurant when Scheffler happened to walk in and spot them.

"I was like, 'Hey, man, what's up,'" Scheffler said Wednesday with a laugh.

He added, "I told him that I was just going to have a separate table for him in the corner by himself. Only kidding, obviously.

"In the world of golf, I think it's definitely a little sad what's happening. It's kind of weird this week. I get to my locker, and my locker's next to Cam Smith's locker, because he's a past champ here, and he's not here. So it's a little strange, but golf will move on. I think this stuff just takes time. Things will heal and we'll see what happens."

Scheffler expects the gravity and tradition of the major championships to create opportunities for these players to co-exist, particularly in the unique company of the Masters Champions Club.

"I think for a few weeks a year we can put all that aside, especially with Augusta National being such a special place and with the history of the game and whatnot," he said. "I think we can put all our stuff aside and just get together for a fun meal, all in a room together and just kind of celebrate the game of golf and Augusta National and just hang out."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is a scratch golfer...sometimes.

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