IF you think the Masters is a place of happiness and harmony, think again.
There are as many feuds as there are flowers at Augusta National and many of them could be set to reignite this year.
Patrick Reed v Jordan Spieth
You have to love Reed.
He may be golf’s pantomime villain but he’s always good value.
In 2014, for example, he was reprimanded when he was caught swearing on television during the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, China, saying “‘Nice f****** three-putt you f****** f****t” to himself after he bogeyed his first hole.
More recently, though, he was the centre of attention again when he fell out with Jordan Spieth at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris.
The pair had formed a successful partnership in previous Ryder Cups but Reed felt aggrieved when Spieth reportedly asked US skipper Jim Furyk to play with Justin Thomas instead.
When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” he shrugged.
“I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success.”
Recently, the two hugged it out when they were paired together at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, burying one of golf’s most high-profile spats.”We’ve all moved on,” said Reed.
Dustin Johnson v Brooks Koepka
It wasn’t the only bust-up at the 2018 Ryder Cup.
After a crushing defeat for the US team at Le Golf National, rumours started swirling that Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, the self-styled ‘Bash Brothers’, had almost come to blows when they had dropped by the European team room to have a beer with the opposition.
Reports also circulated that the two had fallen out on the plane to Paris with Johnson’s girlfriend Paulina Gretzky, at the centre of the arguments.
Despite widespread media coverage of the events, Koepka denied that anything had happened with him and Johnson, reaffirming his friendship with the then world number one.
“This Dustin thing I don’t get,” he shrugged. “There was no fight, no argument. He is one of my best friends. know.
“People like to make a story and run with it and it is not the first time a story has come out that is not true.”
Tiger Woods v Sergio Garcia
‘Strained’ is perhaps the best way to describe the relationship between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.
The pair have never been close ever since they went to head-to-head in that classic PGA Championship battle at Medinah in 1999.
There have been innumerable clashes between the two in the intervening 20 years but things took a turn for the worse when Woods won the Players Championship at Sawgrass in 2013, leaving Garcia trailing in his wake.
Bizarrely, Garcia, who was playing on the next fairway to Woods in the final round, blamed his collapse on Woods pulling out a 5-wood, prompting the crowd to go bananas and put him off his shot.
And he wasn’t happy. “I am not going to lie, he is not my favourite golfer to play with,” whinged Garcia.
“Tiger is not the nicest guy on tour.”
I am not going to lie, he is not my favourite golfer to play with. Tiger is not the nicest guy on tour.
Did Tiger take it lying down? Not a bit of it.
“He called me a whiner. He’s probably right. But that’s also probably the first thing he’s told you guys that’s true in 15 years. I know what he’s like. You guys are finding out.”
It didn’t end there.
Soon after, in the build-up to the US Open, Garcia caused a storm when he was asked if would invite Woods over for dinner during the week of the tournament, to which he replied “he can come every night – we will serve fried chicken.”
As a race row erupted, Garcia offered a full apology, calling his comments a “silly remark.”
They still don’t see eye to eye.
Tiger Woods v Fuzzy Zoeller
It wasn’t the first time that Woods had been the subject of some crude racial stereotyping.
Indeed, his first Masters win was overshadowed by comments made by the winner of the Green Jacket in 1979, Fuzzy Zoeller.
As the 21-year-old Woods decimated the field, Zoeller appeared on the CNN’s Pro Golf Weekly show and questioned what the champion-in-waiting would serve at the traditional Champion’s Dinner the following year.
“That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well. He’s doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here?
“You pat him on the back and say ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Enjoy it’ and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”
Once again, Woods accepted the inevitable apology.
Steve Williams v Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
After parting ways with Adam Scott in 2017, it remains to be seen if Kiwi caddie Williams will get a bag for the Masters this year but if he does there might well be a couple of awkward encounters to keep an eye on.
And the best bet for fireworks?
Well, that will come from any encounter with three-time Masters winners Phil Mickelson, a golfer Williams doesn’t exactly rate.
“I wouldn’t call Mickelson a great player, ’cause I hate the p***k,” he once said.
Later, Williams explained just why he could’t stand Lefty. “I don’t particularly like the guy. He pays me no respect at all and hence I don’t pay him any respect. It’s no secret we don’t get along either.”
It’s less likely to happen with his old boss Tiger Woods, even though Williams once said he wanted to take Adam Scott’s win at the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and “shove it right up that black a***hole”.
They’ve since made up.
Colin Montgomerie v Most American Golfers
Majorless Monty rubbed his American counterparts up the wrong way when, in 1997, he questioned whether Brad Faxon would be up to playing in the upcoming Ryder Cup, given he was going through a tough divorce.
While Faxon brushed off the Scott’s comments, his colleagues also leapt to his defence.
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“I always knew he [Montgomerie] was a cry-baby,” said Bob Estes. “I respect his skills but when he starts with low blows, that’s poor.”
Fred Funk, ordinarily the most mild-mannered of players, went even further. “He’s the jerk of the world as far as I’m concerned, and you can write that down because when I see him I’ll tell him to his face,” he said.
Even Montgomerie’s old Ryder Cup team-mate David Feherty felt he’d lost the plot, suggesting “he’s a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.”
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