Masters Champions Dinner Attendees 'Couldn't Believe' Phil Mickelson's Odd Behavior: Report


When you collect some of the most competitive champions the golf world has ever known for an annual dinner, you might expect some sparks to fly here and there.

After all, for as well known as golf is for its gentlemanly decorum, the sport also features a legendary layer of competitiveness that can often bubble over, sometimes in utterly bizarre ways.

And yet, reports emanating from the most recent Masters Champion Dinner seem to paint a rather subdued picture — with one culprit in particular being noticeably dour compared to his usual, gregarious self.

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Per Golfweek, potential divisiveness over the fact that several former Masters champions — such as Phil Mickelson — are defecting to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league led to a less lively affair for the 2023 Masters Champion Dinner.

Mickelson, who had originally helped spearhead an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA (he has since pulled out), was specifically outed as being particularly meek, which is a far cry from his jovial nature.

“We’re just 33 past champions in a room, all trying to get along,” 1979 Masters winner Fuzzy Zoeller told the outlet about the dichotomy between PGA golfers and LIV golfers. “Nobody said a word about it.”

Zoeller then outed Mickelson’s isolated behavior: “Phil sat near the end of the table and kept to himself. He didn’t speak at all.”

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Tommy Aaron, who won the 1973 Masters and was celebrating his 50th anniversary of said win, noted that he “couldn’t believe” how dour Mickelson was.

“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,” Aaron noted.

Mickelson, who is easily LIV Golf’s biggest and most recognizable star, being quiet throughout the event perhaps speaks to that aforementioned awkwardness between LIV golfers and PGA golfers.

The topics of LIV Golf and its stars were largely avoided, per Golfweek.

“(1992 Masters winner Fred) Couples spoke a lot but didn’t mention LIV at all,” Aaron said. “I sat next to Freddie, and he and Ray Floyd kept trying to figure out how many champions had come out of the final group.”

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Masters Dinner emcee Ben Crenshaw and Chairman Fred Ridley both avoided mentioning anything about LIV Golf, per Golfweek, with the former reading a powerful letter about the exclusivity of the Masters Champion Dinners and the latter sticking with more logistical updates — like actual alterations to certain holes at Augusta National.

As far as the actual libations at the dinner went, it appears the food was largely well received, with the glaring exception of the tortilla soup.

“The ribeye was fantastic, but the tortilla soup was spicy as hell,” Aaron said.

“That soup was pretty damn spicy, but I enjoyed everything else,” added Zoeller.

“Everything else,” as Zoeller called it, appeared to focus on the tastes of golf star (and current No. 1 golfer in the world, per the official World Golf Ranking) Scottie Scheffler, a native Texan and the 2022 Masters winner:

The Masters tournament began today, and will conclude on Sunday with a new green jacket being handed out at its conclusion.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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