Scheffler, McIlroy seek history at Masters

2 months ago 8

The defending champion is unsure astir the strength of encounters betwixt the feuding LIV-PGA golfers


Top-ranked defending champion Scottie Scheffler and satellite fig 2 Rory McIlroy volition pursuit historical triumphs astatine adjacent week's 87th Masters while the PGA Tour-LIV Golf feud makes its debut astatine Augusta National.

Scheffler will effort to articulation Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo arsenic the lone back-to-back Masters winners.

"I person a mates things to enactment connected earlier Augusta, but decidedly plentifulness of assurance going in," Scheffler said.

Scheffler, who has won the Players Championship and Phoenix Open this year, seeks the archetypal Masters repetition since Woods successful 2002.

"I'm not going to deliberation of myself arsenic the defending champion," helium said. "I'm conscionable going to spell retired determination similar I usually do, effort and execute shots and play bully coagulated rounds of golf."

Four-time large victor McIlroy, who has not captured a large since the 2014 PGA Championship, tries to implicit a vocation Grand Slam by taking a greenish jacket.

"Everything feels successful truly bully order," McIlroy said. "Just enactment connected immoderate things I cognize I'll request and conscionable marque definite I'm acceptable and rested."

McIlroy, who won astatine Dubai successful January, has assurance helium tin articulation Woods, Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen with the vocation Slam.

"I've ever known that I person the crippled to triumph astatine this place," McIlroy said. "It's conscionable a substance of having that crippled for 4 days successful a row."

Woods, a 15-time large winner, volition instrumentality to the people wherever helium made his comeback past twelvemonth from terrible limb injuries suffered successful a 2021 car crash.

But the astir aggravated sub-plot entering the year's archetypal large tourney is the showdown betwixt players successful the Saudi-backed rebel LIV Golf League and the PGA Tour, which has banned each LIV golfers from its events.

Majors person allowed LIV golfers who suffice to compete. At the Masters, past played earlier LIV's debut past June, that includes 18 LIV players, six of them past Masters winners -- Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Phil Mickelson.

Throw successful different LIV stars similar reigning British Open champion Cameron Smith of Australia, four-time large victor Brooks Koepka and 2020 US Open victor Bryson DeChambeau and tensions could get heated down Magnolia Lane.

"It's astir apt going to beryllium tense successful a fewer moments," two-time Masters victor Ben Crenshaw said.

Woods anticipated an awkward Masters Champions Dinner.

"Some of our friendships person surely taken a antithetic path, but we'll see," Woods said.

"Realizing the quality of what has transpired and the radical that person left, conscionable wherever our situations are either legally oregon emotionally, there's a batch there."

LIV golfers person thing to beryllium astir remarks their events don't supply due large preparation.

"For us, internally, it's benignant of a pridefulness thing," Smith told The Golf Channel. "There's a batch of chatter going astir about, 'These guys don't play existent play anymore.' I deliberation it's BS. We conscionable privation to amusement people.

"I deliberation it's important to spell determination and play well, truly amusement a precocious modular of play which we cognize we're each susceptible of."

Watson, Reed and Koepka don't expect LIV golfers volition beryllium poorly received.

"It's lone awkward successful the media," Watson said. "I've talked to radical that are going to beryllium there... Some guys person already asked maine to play immoderate signifier rounds."

"We spot each different rather a bit," Koepka said. "There are a batch of conversations. I was talking with Rory for astir apt astir 30 minutes... No 1 is aggravated astatine anybody from what I've seen."

The quest for a greenish overgarment trumps LIV versus PGA notions, Reed said.

"Storylines are going to beryllium evidently LIV versus PGA, but truly astatine the majors... it doesn't substance what circuit they're on."

Champions Dinner big Scheffler hopes for the champion but admits helium is unsure what to expect.

"I'm not rather definite what the vibes volition beryllium like, but I deliberation we're each determination to observe being past champions," helium said.

"I'm definite we'll enactment each that different worldly speech and conscionable person a bully clip together."

"It volition beryllium fine," said England's Danny Willett, 2016 Masters champion. "We're each grown adults. We've each earned our close to beryllium there."

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