The Masters 2024

The Masters can’t escape the LIV civil war tearing golf apart

The bitter civil war between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour has ripped the sport apart, writes Matt Cooper, and it’s up to Augusta National to provide a technicolour distraction

Wednesday 10 April 2024 11:30 BST
The healing power of the green jacket may be able to unite a divided sport
The healing power of the green jacket may be able to unite a divided sport (Getty)

There has always been a sense that the Masters is a fairytale or fantasy for golfers and perhaps next week’s first major championship of 2024 most resembles The Wizard of Oz. There are the extremes of colour (Augusta National loves green), a fabled route (onto the property along Magnolia Lane and around it via Amen Corner), peculiar tradition (the Butler Cabin), a strange but beguiling prize (the green jacket) and a cast of characters desperately trying to overcome their flaws.

There is no scarecrow who wants a brain, tin man in search of a heart or lion seeking courage. Instead, Scottie Scheffler wants a hot putter, Rory McIlroy needs to stay patient and, OK, Xander Schauffele would like to turn his many major championship top-10 finishes into a win so maybe courage of a kind is what he’s missing.

But this year, there is an added feature for the Augusta fairytale and it is the sense that something malevolent and threatening is hanging over this other-worldly location.

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