Masters Will Be 'More Fun Knowing That They Hate Us' - Niemann Stokes Up LIV-PGA Rivalry

Joaquin Niemann says that LIV Golf stars playing at the Masters will be going all-out to beat their PGA Tour rivals at Augusta

Joaquin Niemann of Chile
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The LIV Golf v PGA Tour rivalry at the Masters has largely been played down by the players so far in the build-up, until Joaquin Niemann stepped up as mischief maker in chief by stoking the fire of this intriguing subplot.

It’s not like the first Major of the year at the iconic Augusta National doesn’t get enough hype already, but being the first Masters since the sport was split open by Greg Norman’s Saudi enterprise it has that little bit more juice this year.

Jon Rahm said the Champions Dinner could be a bit of a frosty affair, which can’t have been helped by Fred Couples labelling Sergio Garcia a “clown” and Phil Mickelson a “nutbag” recently.

While they’re unlikely to be sitting together for Scottie Scheffler’s Masters menu, back out on the course there could be even more icy glares being bounced about with former friends Garcia and Rory McIlroy on the same property.

Matt Fitzpatrick has already said he wouldn’t let any LIV Golf player back on the PGA Tour and all this is before you throw in Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, who you feel could get into an argument in a phone box.

Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson have tried to calm the atmosphere, but Chilean Niemann is having none of it, saying that the 18 LIV Golf players in the Masters are out to beat up their PGA Tour rivals.

“I think it’s going to be more fun knowing that they hate us,” Niemann told “Then go to the Majors and beat them.”

The 24-year-old has a hint of mischief about his comments, but there’s also more than a glimmer of truth in there as he describes what he feels is a fierce rivalry between the two factions.

“There is a big rivalry right now between the Tour and LIV,” he added. “I think there is a lot of players that - I don’t know if they don’t like us or don’t like the decisions that we take, but it’s going to be fun.

“Since they gave us the notice that we’re going to be able to play the Majors, I was like, it’s going to be so much fun those four weeks. Four weeks in the year against them, and try to beat them."

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.