The Masters Champions Dinner is a tradition that brings together past champions Augusta National together to tell stories and eat well. The host is always the previous year’s winner, who also creates the menu and pays the bill. 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was the host this year and many were looking forward to his Texas-themed menu options.
However, one thing that wasn’t on the menu was discomfort.
Ever since the PGA Tour invited golfers from LIV Golf to participate in this year’s tournament in Augusta, many expected something awkward to happen between golfers on both sides. Up to this point, outside of LIV wearing their team’s jerseys on the golf course, things have been pretty quiet and cozy between PGA and LIV. That is, until the previous Masters champions got together for their traditional dinner.
Some of those previous winners included current LIV golfers, one of them Phil Mickelson. According to 1979 winner Fuzzy Zoeller, Mickelson kept quiet throughout dinner, saying nothing.
“We’re just 33 previous champions in a room, all trying to get along.” Zoeller told Golfweek when asked about the PGA-LIV relationship. “Nobody said a word about it. Phil sat near the end of the table and kept to himself. He did not speak at all ”.
Another Masters legend was Tommy Aaron, who was also at the dinner. He also spoke to Golfweek, adding that he tried to wish Mickelson good luck, but didn’t seem to receive a response.
“I wished him good luck, but I couldn’t believe how quiet he was. Phil took a very low profile. He didn’t say a word”.
One thing is for sure, this story is not going away. Once tournament play begins on Thursday, all bets are off when it comes to playing nice with each other, so to speak. So maybe Mickelson is just warming up his playing face for the tournament.
But hey, at least he and the others smiled for the camera.