Cheat Meal

Masters 2023: This is Phil Mickelson’s biggest concern about the Champions Dinner



AUGUSTA, Ga.—Phil Mickelson’s precarious relationship with the PGA Tour establishment has been well-documented, and part of the reason the Tuesday night Champions Dinner has the potential for “Dad brought his new girlfriend to Thanksgiving dinner”-level awkwardness.

Mickelson himself addressed concerns on Tuesday at Augusta National, even suggesting the dinner had the potential to undo some of his positive work. Was the three-time Masters champion talking about the massive chasm sparked by his and other star players’ exodus to LIV Golf? Did he fear a round of juvenile name calling over appetizers? No, Mickelson was more worried about dessert. And specifically, well, the dessert.

“I always fight the weight demons, and that cookie, skillet cookie with ice cream, that's going to be tough for me to pass,” Mickelson said of the closing portion of of champion Scottie Scheffler’s chosen menu. “But I got to do it. I can't be doing that right now.”

As for everything else, Mickelson chose to to dismiss the possibility of a dinner layered with acrimony, even after one-time friend Fred Couples called him a “nutbag” a few weeks back (Couples was more diplomatic when discussing Mickelson on Monday).

"No, I think we've had friendships, relationships for a long time. I don't see it being an issue. I really don't,” Mickelson said. “I think that—I think it's going to be a fun night to celebrate Scottie's win and welcome him to a club that is truly unique and special and very—an honor to be a part of.”