Bernie McGuire, Royal Greens GC, Saudi Arabia
Past champion Dustin Johnson is the latest to step forward insisting there will be no tension at the Masters Champions Dinner this coming April at Augusta National.
The recent comments from past champions have come after Spaniard Jon Rahm’s reaction to news late last year from the green jacket members club in Augusta that all eligible LIV golfers would be free to tee-up on the Georgia golfing gem while past winners of the Masters, including Johnson, would not be denied from attending the dinner.
Rahm believed there may be ‘tension’ at the dinner by allowing six LIV golfers and Masters winners – Phil Mickelson, Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Johnson to sit at the same table within the Augusta clubhouse alongside those other former champions.
Johnson, and speaking from this week’s Asian Tour Saudi International, disagrees with Rahm and a fellow US Open winner.
“The Masters, of course, means a lot to me since I first teed-up in 2009 and even more so being fitted by Tiger (Woods) with the green jacket in 2020”, said Johnson.
“It’s also something I want to be a part of forever, so I am always very pleased to play in the Masters.
“I was so honoured to host the dinner in 2021 and each and every one of us look forward to honouring Scotty (Scheffler) this year and that’s the great tradition that is Augusta National.
“I heard what was said about possible tension at the dinner but there will not be any tension from me and, besides I still have a great relationship with all my fellow Masters champions, so I don’t see why there will be any issues or tension at the dinner.
“If there are any guys saying there may be tension, it has nothing to do with a few of us playing LIV compared to competing on the PGA Tour, as that tension was already there”.
A lower back injury forced Johnson out of competing in Saudi Arabia this week, an event he won both in 2019 and 2021.
However the former World No. 1 has not been idle, hosting a junior clinic on the Royal Greens practice round on Friday while attending official dinners.
Johnson indicated is confident his back injury will have cleared ahead of his next event on February 24th and the start of the 2023 LIV Series at Mayakoba in Mexico.
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