AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s a decades long Masters tradition that when a former champion arrives at a green or tee, they are acknowledged.
“Yeah, we clap when they come up. Yeah, sure,” said Jim Schroeder.
“As a show of honor and respect?”
“Because they’re past champs, because they’re cool, yes,” said Schroeder.
But for this year’s Masters not everything is cool in the world of golf.
Six past Masters champions playing have joined the rival LIV golf tour, creating a deep rift among players.
So as these LIV champions approach, will the patrons provide a round of applause?
“100 percent,100 percent. They won this tournament. This tournament has nothing to do with LIV or the PGA tour. If you won this tournament, you deserve the respect of the patrons here,” said Mike Gass of New Jersey.
“There’s probably a few of them that I would out of respect for them, but there are some that I think have become kind of really jerkish in the whole thing, which would keep me from doing that,” said Bill Lance.
“I think the mere fact they’re playing here at the Masters indicates that they are worthy of the respect and etiquette that Bob Jones said all golfers and the spectators must give, so I think yes,” said Robert Bell from Washington D.C.
“They deserve it as well as anybody else. They are a past champions, they are great,” said Schroeder ,
Of course, we will find out later in the week if this tradition of applause lives up to all former champions.