Sorry Greg Norman, but golf doesn't really need your Saudi-backed shake up - The Masters proved that

Golf is good. A simple statement, I know, but it is the perfect way to sum up the game’s current standing based on the first men’s major of the year.

For the past few months, the sport has had a dark cloud hanging over it due to potential lawsuits being a possibility and that could still be on the cards.

Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed breakaway circuit, after all, is happening, with a weekend report claiming that two former world No 1s and Ryder Cup heroes had signed up for it starting at the Centurion Club outside London in early June.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

It will certainly be interesting to see how that pans out, but, on evidence of the 86th edition of The Masters, the game doesn’t need the shake up Norman would have us believe.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (L) and Collin Morikawa celebrate on the 18th green after finishing their round during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Before we even get on to the Scottie Scheffler and Tiger Woods narratives at Augusta National, the scenes involving Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa on the 72nd green on Sunday were a fantastic advert for the game.

After holing an outrageous bunker for a birdie to close with a 64, which matched the lowest score on the final day in the event, McIlroy went wild, as did Morikawa and everyone around the green.

From the same bunker but a different position, Morikawa then emulated the feat to spark more frenzied scenes and the genuine shared joy of both players is what this great game is all about.

Having Woods among the cast again was a boost and the rapturous reception he received on that same green a couple of hours earlier told you everything about him being back.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the five-time winner went backwards over the weekend, when he shot two 78s, but where he finished on this occasion didn’t really matter.

It was simply about him showing that he could indeed play again after that horrific car crash in Los Angeles 14 months ago and, over the first two days, he produced some lovely stuff.

It could be that the only events Tiger will play in 2022 will be the four majors. If so, we’ll take that and certainly so at St Andrews when it stages the 150th Open in July.

You can just imagine the roar that will go up in the Auld Grey Toun when he steps on to the first tee in the opening round on a course where he’s won twice in the past and, make no mistake, the 15-time major winner will be making that journey with only one thing in mind.

For many Scots, that will be the first chance to see Scheffler in the flesh and what a ride he’s enjoying, having now won four times in just six starts.

The 25-year-old comes across as a genuinely nice bloke and joins a group of players who are set to be great ambassadors for the game over the next 20 years.

Yes, of course, the majors always have that bit of magic about them, but it was timely that this one provided confirmation that the game as it stands right now doesn’t need shaken up in a way some people might think.

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.