Sports | January 5, 2023 11:31 am

Jon Rahm Predicts an Awkward Masters Champions Dinner at Augusta National

Members of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will be breaking bread in April

A Masters logo on a green jacket worn by a member of Augusta National Golf Club.
Augusta National Golf Club could get a bit weird in a few months.
Andrew Redington/Getty

Since the guest list at the Masters Champions Dinner is restricted to former tournament champs and chairman Fred Ridley, former U.S. Open champ Jon Rahm won’t be in attendance. However, that hasn’t prevented the 28-year-old Spaniard from theorizing about what sitting around the table at Augusta National Golf Club in April will be like.

The Masters Club, the formal name of the annual dinner Tuesday night at Augusta National prior to the first major of the year, will possibly be the first time that many top members of the PGA Tour will be in the same room with their former peers who have defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. In Rahm’s opinion, it might get awkward.

“One thing I keep going back to, and it’s probably only funny to me,” Rahm said at this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. “I think the Masters Champions Dinner’s going to be a little tense compared to how it’s been in the past. I keep thinking about it because I wish I could be there and just be able to see how things work out. Too bad the U.S. Open doesn’t have one of those.”

Rahm isn’t the only one who has been thinking about dinner in Augusta as reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler has been planning on how he’s going to handle things with his former colleagues in addition to planning the menu for all the former champs.

Scheffler had the chance to tell two-time Masters champion and LIV defector Bubba Watson his plans for him when he ran into him at a restaurant in Tennessee a few weeks ago. “I told him that I was just going to have a separate table for him in the corner by himself,” Scheffler said, per the Associated Press. “Only kidding, obviously. 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.”

If Scheffler changes his mind and does seat Watson in the corner, joining him at the table could be Phil Mickelson, Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson, ex-Masters winners who are now part of LIV Golf.

As for the tournament itself, four-day badges for Masters patrons were made available earlier this week for a cost of $450. Even though that’s a sizable increase from last year’s price of $375, that’s still a pretty great deal. If only they sold tickets to the Masters Champions Dinner…