They Said It: Here Are the Best Things We Heard During the Masters’ Marathon Day of Press Conferences

As usual, Tuesday marked Augusta's busiest day for player press conferences. Here are the best things we heard after about 270 minutes of golfers speaking into microphones.
The Masters - Preview Day Two
The Masters - Preview Day Two / Andrew Redington/GettyImages

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tuesday presents its own tradition in the Masters’ opulent and fully stocked media center (shoutout to the vanilla pancakes), as it’s always the day when Augusta stacks up press conferences with most of the high-wattage players, each of whom spends 30 or so minutes at the microphone while entertaining questions from the assembled and well-fed press. 

Oh sure, there were a few press conferences on Monday, and Augusta National holds its annual meeting on Wednesday morning. But Tuesday is the gauntlet. On this particular Tuesday a whopping nine players stepped into the arena. Here are the best things we heard after about 270 minutes of golfers speaking into microphones:

“I kept it in my closet in a spot where I would walk by it every single day, and obviously inevitably every once in a while you put it on and take it off and put it back there.” —Jon Rahm, on what did with his green jacket over the past year

“If everything comes together, I think I can get one more. Do I need to describe that any more than that, or are we good?” —Tiger Woods, with a smile, on whether he thinks he can win this week.

“When I step up onto the tee at a tournament, my thought process is always about my preparation. When I step up on the first tee, I just remind myself: I've done the work. I've done everything I could. I've checked all the boxes. And I've done everything to where I can go out here and play well. So I can go out and compete freely knowing that I've done what I'm supposed to do in my preparation. And then when it comes time to compete, I'm just trying to soak in the competition. Go out there, have fun, be committed to my shots. And I'm focused mostly on my mental attitude. I'm not looking at results. I'm just trying to focus as much of my process as I can.” —Scottie Scheffler, on his mindset.

“During the moment it's about going to play golf and go do what I do. But there's 19 other people in front of me, I do know that.” —Brooks Koepka on whether he thinks about his place in the major-championship record book.

“You spend four hours with Butch and you go away with two swing tips and 30 stories. But you always go away hitting the ball better than when you came.” —Rory McIlroy, on his recent work with Butch Harmon.

“I think in general I just get a little more tired because I'm 30 and not 21, which will only, from what I hear, becomes—I don't think you go backwards on that. So I think time management I may be a little bit better at but I also feel like have I to be better at. But other than that, not much has changed.” —Jordan Spieth, on how fatherhood has changed his routine.

“Yeah, I mean, stats like that are meant to be broken. So I know it's a tall task. It's a challenging golf course. There's a bunch of good golfers. With that said, you still have to match—you have to still bring your game. So it's not like you can just flip a switch and win it.” —Wyndham Clark, on whether he can win this week as a Masters rookie.

“It's a tricky balance because obviously I'm feeling all the first-time feelings that everyone's feeling, but I'm also trying to be O.K. with all those things coming at me at the same time. Because I think once you start fighting it, once you start trying to push it away, I think that's when it becomes tricky.” —Ludvig Aberg, on balancing the feelings of being a Masters rookie while trying to win the tournament. 

“I still don't really know what exactly I need to do. I think it's something that I just kind of do off the cuff. Some years I feel like I might have to play the golf course a little bit more. Other years it's more maybe practicing.” —Viktor Hovland, who is looking for his first Masters title, on his preparation.

“We're still talking about it.” —Woods, on the possibility of captaining the 2025 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

“It was a lot more fun getting to wear it for a whole year.” —Scheffler, with a laugh, on reuniting with his green jacket when he arrives at Augusta.

“Your confidence level is going to be a little bit different than when you don't have any conscious thoughts. That's obviously the end goal when you play this game, is that you show up and you go through your routine and there's almost, like, a blackout.” —Hovland on going through his current swing changes. 

“I simply blew it out, or threw it out, not blew it out, threw it out in the gym. And it was just one of those muscle things, and it was painful. But fortunately I got a great team around me, and they got me to be able to play only two and a half, three days later, which was pretty remarkable.” —Clark on his recent back injury.

“Both.” —Rahm, when asked if he thinks he’s viewed this week as a LIV golfer or a Masters champion.

“I would say not trying to win it from the first tee shot. I think that's something that I've tried to learn. It's a 72-hole golf tournament. I've won from 10 strokes back going into the weekend. There's loads of different ways to do it.” —McIlroy on managing his desire to win so that it doesn’t become an obstacle.

“He'll get it done. It's just a matter of when.” —Woods, on whether Rory McIlroy will one day win a green jacket.

“It's amazing. But I also understand how advantageous cell phones are for the growth of our sport. So, it's nice for a week, but if it was every tournament, you know, our growth would be limited. But what's really cool about it is you just feel that everyone's very, very present.” —Spieth on Augusta’s policy of not allowing cell phones on the property.

“It was this, the Masters, definitely.” —Aberg, when asked what major championship he most wanted to win while growing up in Sweden.

“Have you played here?” —Koepka, when asked if it’s possible to shoot a 59 at Augusta.


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Jeff Ritter

JEFF RITTER

Jeff Ritter is the Managing Director of SI Golf. He spent more than a decade at Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine, and in 2020 joined Morning Read to help spark its growth and eventual acquisition by Sports Illustrated in 2022. He's a member of the Golf Writers' Association of America (GWAA) and has covered more than 25 major championships. He helped launch SI Golf Plus Digital, Golf Magazine’s first original, weekly e-magazine, and served as its top editor. He also launched Golf's “Films” division, the magazine’s first long-form video storytelling franchise, and his debut documentary received an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. His writing has earned first-place awards from the Society of American Travel Writers, the MIN Magazine Awards, and the Golf Writers Association of America, among others. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. A native Michigander, he remains a diehard Wolverine fan and will defend Jim Harbaugh until the bitter end.