July 23, 2024

After finishing ahead of Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson at Augusta in 2023, LIV Golf rebel Jon Rahm is in charge of this year’s Masters Champions Dinner.

At last year’s Masters Champions Dinner, Bubba Watson acknowledged that there was evident tension between players on the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

Along with fellow LIV members Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, and Sergio Garcia, Watson, 45, was present at the event. Along with 26 other former champions and Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley, Scottie Scheffler hosted the six.

The elephant in the room was not even brought up inside the clubhouse during the entire evening, despite the fact that it was the first Masters since the release of LIV. It’s reported that Mickelson didn’t say much for a full year after missing the tournament and dinner due to personal issues. It is also rumored that Gary Player and Fred Couples set aside their complaints against the league.

After a year, Watson expects a completely different environment. “It will be distinct from the previous year,” he declared to the Telegraph.

Watson acknowledged that the awkwardness would eventually pass, saying, “There are negotiations going on now, but the two sides, LIV and the PGA Tour, weren’t talking back then.” We were favored by the PGA Tour, but that has changed. The champion and the big names in that room will be the main focus of the evening, as they should be. And golf will be the main focus of The Masters.

That does not mean, however, that there won’t be any anxiety in the room. Specifically from Jon Rahm, who has done a great job hosting.

“I usually don’t have any problems speaking in front of an audience, so trust me when I say that this has been completely rent-free in my mind. Not a problem. During a media video call last month, the champion declared, “I’ll get up there and talk about anything.”

“It’s intimidating just to think about having to speak to all these legendary champions and stand in front of the entire room.” I believe that my speech will come purely from the heart, and that’s usually what makes the best impression.

“It will undoubtedly not be ready. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to say, but maybe a few drinks will help me speak a little more naturally.”

Rahm’s “northern Spanish Basque country Bilbao menu” is served with a selection of wines. Alongside an abundance of pintxos—what the northern part of the country refers to as tapas—there are touches of red and white from his native country to soothe the nerves.

It’s not everyone’s expectation, though. Johnson admitted to the media team at LIV, “I have seen the menu, yes.” “I have no doubt that it will be amazing. I’m not sure how much of it is. Sure enough, there is ham. I know that will be fantastic because I ate a lot of ham while playing in Spain last year. Although I’m not that familiar with it, I adore Spanish cuisine. However, I have no doubt that it will be fantastic.”

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