'I Don't Have Any Problems With Anyone' - Garcia On Potential Masters Dinner Awkwardness
With the busy golfing calendar fully underway for 2023, it won't be long until the World's elite head down Magnolia Lane for the first men's Major of the year, The Masters.
It's a tournament that even the non-golf fan tunes in for, with Augusta National playing host for what should be an enthralling watch, especially this year, with Augusta National chairman, Fred Ridley, confirming recently that invitations will go out to all LIV golfers who have, indeed, qualified.
WHAT IS LIV GOLF?
Obviously, the story of LIV Golf League has been the biggest talking point over the past 18 months and, with the League's players able to take part in the first Major of the year, it has caused many to ask about how they will be received when they tee it up with their PGA Tour counterparts at the start of April.
Tiger Woods, who is a five-time Green Jacket winner, admitted that he doesn't "know what that reaction is going to be", whilst Scottie Scheffler, the defending champion, joked that Bubba Watson, who captains the RangeGoats on the LIV circuit, was "going to have a separate table for him" at the Champions Dinner. Obviously, Scottie was joking about it.
Currently, there are six LIV players who have won The Masters, with one of those being Sergio Garcia, who famously birdied the first playoff hole to break the Major duck. When asked about the Champions Dinner on the Tuesday evening, and whether there would be awkwardness, the Spaniard responded: "I don't know. You'll have to ask whoever is going to feel awkward."
Garcia has arguably been one of the outspoken individuals when it comes to the LIV Golf League, with the 43-year-old falling out with long-time friend, Rory McIlroy, after Garcia joined the Saudi-backed series in June 2022. Later that year, it was reported by The Telegraph that the Spaniard went on a foul mouth rant at the BMW International Open, in which he reportedly shouted, "this Tour (DP World) is s***, you're all f****d." He later denied these allegations.
Speaking at Tucson, the second LIV event of 2023, Garcia revealed that "I'm going to feel fine," in relation to the Champions Dinner, adding "I don't have any problems with anyone, and I try not to make a big deal out of it. I'm going to be there because I earned it, because I deserve it, and I'm going to enjoy it. I hope the rest of the guys do the same."
One previous Masters winner that may feel different is Fred Couples, who recently called Garcia a "clown" in relation to him complaining about the PGA Tour before joining LIV.
When asked about Couples' comments, the 2017 Masters winner simply stated: "I don't know. You'd probably have to ask them. I think, at the end of the day, we are where we want to be. We're happy to be here, and that's the most important thing for us.
"Everyone, what do they say? Everybody has an opinion, the same as the other thing. Obviously everyone is going to talk. At the end of the day, we're very happy where we are. We love the product. You just have to see what's going on out here. So just go and ask them."