3 surprisingly emotional scenes from Masters press conferences

Scottie Scheffler on Tuesday at the Masters.

Scottie Scheffler on Tuesday at the Masters.


AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tommy Fleetwood is getting emotional, talking about his friend.

“Yeah, he’s not been well all year,” he says. “At the moment he’s at home trying to recover and get the right treatment. Hopefully he’ll be back out sooner rather than later. It’s definitely different being without him. Like, we’ve been together every tournament for the last eight years, pretty much.”

Fleetwood is at the microphone in front of the Augusta National clubhouse talking about his caddie, Ian Finnis. The two have always made a distinctive pair for their respective sizes (Fleetwood is a slim 5-foot-8, Finnis a hulking 6-foot-7) but also for their close relationship.

Before last week, Fleetwood doesn’t remember playing a tournament without his right-hand man since 2018, the week after that year’s U.S. Open, when Finnis’ son was born. Something is missing, Fleetwood says, without him here.

“He’s a pretty big presence,” he says. “Yeah, it’s definitely very, very different. Last week was weird just going out there and doing so many things that he would do around. There is definitely a comfort, a huge comfort level when he’s out on the course with me.”

Last week TaylorMade Tour rep Adrian Rietveld was on Fleetwood’s bag in San Antonio. This week Fleetwood hand-picked Gray Moore, the former Augusta National caddiemaster. That used to be standard fare, Masters contestants using Augusta National caddies. It rarely happens anymore.

“The first two or three years that I came here I always had Gray in practice and would always sit and speak to him,” Fleetwood says. “So I’ve known him well for the last few years and I just asked if he could do it this week.”

Fleetwood finished T7 at the Valero Texas Open. He logged another top 10 at the Genesis Invitational. And he started his year with a victory on the DP World Tour’s Dubai Invitational. He enters the week at No. 13 in the world and looking to improve on a career-best T14 in 2022. But he’s focused on the little stuff, like checking the weather — Fino usually takes care of that — and thinking of the big stuff, too.

“Yeah it’s just a bit weird, really. But I’m far more bothered about him getting better and his health being right,” Fleetwood says. “He’s definitely in the right place at the moment. Yeah, I look forward to when he does get back out.”


All eyes are on Scottie Scheffler, and Scottie Scheffler’s eyes are welling up.

He’s been asked about what defines him and where golf fits into that equation. This touches on something Scheffler says often: that golf is what he does, it’s not who he is. But it can be easier to say what you’re not than to pin down what you are.

“Hopefully it doesn’t define me too much because golf definitely is a selfish sport,” Scheffler says. “You’re out there by yourself. And when you’re at the peak of your game, people need stuff from you a lot of the time and you have to be selfish with your time.”

Scheffler also knows it’s dangerous to tie his well-being too closely to his golf scores. He enters this tournament having won two of his last three tournaments and he finished second at the other. His stranglehold on the title of World No. 1 has never been stronger. People are increasingly turning to him as the face and voice of modern professional golf. That’s a lot.

“I happen to be good at [golf] some weeks, and, you know, I come in here and you guys ask all nice questions. And then the next week I’m bad at it, and then some of the questions are viewed more negatively,” he says.

Scheffler references his faith, something he does selectively but emphatically. And he references the scope of this moment. He gets emotional as he does so and it’s hard not to think of the last time he sat in this seat and got emotional, after he won the 2022 Masters. In golf, Scheffler prides himself on being in control of as many things as possible. Off the course he’s yielded that control.

“I was underprepared for what was about to happen,” he says, referencing 2022. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was very anxious that morning. I didn’t know what to expect.

“And it’s hard to describe the feeling, but I think that’s what defines me the most is my faith. I believe in one creator, that I’ve been called to come out here, do my best, compete and glorify God, and that’s pretty much it.”


Tom Watson is wearing his green jacket. Jack Nicklaus is to his right. Gary Player is to his left. They’re wearing their green jackets, too.

“Y’know, I got up at the Champions Dinner,” Watson says. He’s been asked about pro golf’s divide. It’s clear he’s been thinking about it — and thinking about how he could help.

“We were sitting down and we were having great stories about Seve Ballesteros and people were laughing and talking. I said to Mr. Ridley, I said, ‘Do you mind if I say something about being here together with everybody?'”

With the club chairman’s approval, Watson addressed the jovial group.

“I said, ‘Ain’t it good to be together again?’ And there was kind of a pall from the joviality, and it quieted down,” he said.

Before long it was time to leave. But Watson hoped his brief message stuck with the assembled champs.

“I hope that the players themselves took that to say, y’know, we have to do something. We have to do something.

“We all know it’s a difficult situation for professional golf right now. The players really kind of have control, I think. 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.”

While the inter-Tour feud hasn’t been front and center this week, reminders of golf’s divide are everywhere. LIV commissioner Greg Norman — dismayed with a lack of invitation — bought a ticket to gain access to the grounds on Wednesday. Sergio Garcia said the media was to blame for LIV-PGA Tour drama. Jon Rahm addressed his decision to leave. Ridley addressed the uncertainty of the future. This is the first year the defending champion is a LIV golfer. We’ll see if it’s the first year a current LIV golfer wins, too. No matter the victor, golf will leave this week still splintered.

“I think in this room, I know the three of us want to get together,” Watson says. “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.”

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier

Golf.com Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/GOLF.com. The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.

Watch, play, win. Chirp Golf is your home for the best of real money Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Free-To-Play games.

Watch, play, win

Chirp Golf is your home for the best of real money Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Free-To-Play games. Featuring simple to play. easy to learn, and fun games. Chirp Golf has something for every golf fan.

Scan to Download:

Google Play Apple Store