LIV Golf players insist divide 'media driven' but would LOVE 2023 Masters ambush

Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson insist it's business as usual for the LIV Golf League players at the 2023 Masters.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 30 Mar 2023
LIV Golf players insist divide 'media driven' but would LOVE 2023 Masters ambush

Patrick Reed says he would 'like' to have LIV Golf players come out on top at the 2023 Masters, but insists it's business as usual. 

Reed will be among 18 'rebel' players who will be teeing it up at Augusta National over 6-9 April. 

The American, 32, slipped on the green jacket in 2018 when Rory McIlroy faltered and he held off Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler

There is no denying the landscape of professional golf has changed considerably, thanks in part to the Saudi-backed tour led by Greg Norman.

Related: LIV players' form ahead of The Masters

Despite the disruption at the top of the game, Reed is not anticipating a frosty reception when he makes it to Georgia. 

Before LIV Golf's third event of 2023 in Orlando, Reed said of the major:

"The storylines are going to be obviously LIV versus PGA Tour and all that kind of stuff, but really at the majors, that's all the guys that come in, top players in the world are going and playing against each other no matter where they come from.
"It doesn't matter what tour they're on or anything; it's the top guys going and trying to play for one of the most coveted events in the world.
"For us, at least for myself, it's going to be business as usual going out and playing.
"Would I like to have LIV be up at the top? Of course. But really at the end of the day, it's all of us going in there and just trying to play the best golf we can."

Standing alongside Reed was Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka. 

They both echoed the sentiments expressed by Reed, explaining that outspoken LIV critics like McIlroy are 'just protecting their business'. 

Watson said: 

"I'm trying to beat them all. Just saying.
"I've talked to people that are going to be there. I’m going to sign up with Jason Day and Cam Young in the par-3. Some guys have already asked me to play some practice rounds.
"I have nothing against anybody. If you change jobs, I'm not mad at you. If you start reporting for somebody else, hey, man, it's a better decision for you and your family. Have at it."

Koepka added his thoughts after explaining how he was 'hydrated' during his viral traffic cone moment

He said: 

"If you win a major, that‘s a pretty damn good statement. 
"Look, anytime you win the Masters, it's going to be a big boost off the golf course for you. I don't care who you are.
"That would be a massive, massive boost for any team, player, individual, whatever, it doesn't matter what it is, it's going to be a big boost."

Despite all of the majors opening their doors to LIV Golf players in 2023, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley spoke of his concern of the actions of the players who have bolted from the PGA Tour. 

He previously said:

"Regrettably recent actions have divided men's professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it.

But he added:

"Our focus is to honour the tradition of bringing together a pre-eminent field of golfers."

It should be noted that Ridley was previously accused of trying to persuade players not to join LIV Golf. 

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