Scott Van Pelt Credit: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

The Masters starts Thursday, and there is surprisingly little discussion or debate about the battle that once enflamed the golf world. LIV Golf and the PGA Tour are negotiating a merger, and all the best and most famous golfers will be at Augusta National this week.

Longtime golf commentator Scott Van Pelt believes the rivalry and politicking between the two leagues is gone, and golf fans no longer “give a s***.”

In an interview on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Tuesday, Van Pelt explained why once the PGA Tour and athletes like Rory McIlroy turned down the volume on the fight, fans and reporters followed suit.

“I feel like it’s a non-topic,” Van Pelt said. “It’s amazing how that has changed, in the sense that there was a very clear line in the sand. It was us against them … [and now] it just feels like the entire ‘us against them’ fight is no more. It feels that we’re headed toward some conglomerate of sorts, they just have to figure out the money. So I just don’t think LIV vs the PGA Tour exists. When Rory, who was the Jon Snow drawing his sword, ready to fight all comers was like, ‘We probably have to figure all this out,’ your most staunch advocate for the fight laid down his sword. So I just don’t think it’s a topic of conversation.”

Last year, LIV golfer Jon Rahm won the Masters. This year, the betting favorite is PGA mainstay Scottie Scheffler.

Meanwhile, the merger has risen to federal antitrust workarounds and geopolitical ethics. Van Pelt believes fans tune it out these days.

“People don’t give a s***. I just don’t think they give a s***,” the SportsCenter host said. “All they want is to see the best players in each event, and they get that starting Thursday (at the Masters). So it just doesn’t feel like a topic. I have no appetite for it, because once the PGA Tour was like, ‘we’re going to do this,’ it’s over. It’s not, but that fight feels over to me.”

Rewind to 2021, and the LIV pirate ship was one of the biggest stories in not only golf but all of sports. There will be a story to tell about whether LIV “won” that war or simply fast-forwarded the sport’s progression, but the sport has returned to a status quo.

Van Pelt’s job is to tell stories about golf that resonate with its fans, and already this one is no longer front of mind for him.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.