Tom Watson killed atmosphere at Jon Rahm's Masters dinner with PGA-LIV comment

Tom Watson reportedly killed the jovial atmosphere at Jon Rahm's Masters dinner with a comment about the PGA Tour's battle with LIV Golf.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson

Living golf legend Tom Watson killed the 'jovial atmosphere' at Jon Rahm's Masters dinner. 

That's according to the man himself.

Watson told reporters he decided to approach the thorny subject of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf shortly after attendees told tales of Seve Ballesteros and what winning the green jacket meant to them. 

“I got up and I'm looking around the room, and I'm seeing just a wonderful experience everybody is having,” Watson told scribes shortly after getting the 2024 Masters underway alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

“They are jovial. They are having a great time. They are laughing. I said, ‘Ain't it good to be together again?’ 

"And there was kind of a pall from the joviality, and it quieted down, and then Ray Floyd got up and it was time to leave.”

Watson said that he wanted those in attendance to understand that 'we have to do something'. 

Despite hostilities between the PGA and LIV cooling off somewhat, we are still none the wiser about what the future will hold. 

The 74-year-old continued: "We all know it's a difficult situation for professional golf right now. 

"The players really kind of have control, I think, in a sense. What do they want to do? 

"We'll see where it goes. We don't have the information or the answers. 

"I don't think the PGA Tour or the LIV Tour really have an answer right now. I know the three of us want [the game] to get together.

" We want to get together like we were at that Champions Dinner—happy, the best players playing against each other. 

"The bottom line: That's what we want in professional golf, and right now, we don't have it.”


Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson
Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson

The aforementioned Nicklaus chimed in, revealing a conversation he had recently with PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan

"The best outcome is the best players play against each other all the time," Nicklaus said.  

"That's what I feel about it. And how it's going, I don't know, I don't think I'm -- I don't want to be privy to it. 

"I talked to Jay not very long ago, and I said, 'Jay,' I said, 'Don't tell me what's going on because I don't want to have to lie to the press and people that ask me questions.'

"I said, 'How are you doing?'

"He said, 'We're doing fine.'

"I said, 'Okay, that's all I want to know.'

"If Jay thinks we're doing fine, we'll get there, I think we'll get there. And I certainly hope that happens, the sooner the better."

Player was in agreement, too, 

He said: "It's very simple. Anytime in any business whatsoever, not only in the golf business, there's confrontation, it's unhealthy. 

"You've got to get together and come to a solution. If you cannot -- it's not good. The public don't like it, and we as professionals don't like it, either.

"But it's a big problem because they paid all these guys to join the LIV Tour fortunes, I mean, beyond one's comprehension and the players that were loyal, three of us and others.

"Now these guys come back and play, I really believe the players, that if they are loyal, should be compensated in some way or another; otherwise, there's going to be dissension."

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