Get ready to be disappointed…
The annual gathering of all previous winners of The Masters took place Tuesday evening at Augusta National Golf Club. The yearly event brings together every man who has previously won The Masters to honor the defending champion. It’s a tradition started in 1952 by none other than Ben Hogan. The defending champion is the guest of honor and selects the menu for the evening.
Previous high-(or low) lights have included Scot Sandy Lyle serving haggis in 1989, Tiger Woods serving cheeseburgers and milkshakes in 1998 after his first Augusta triumph and Charl Schwartzel serving a traditional South African barbeque last year.
2012 Champion Bubba Watson had been silent on the question of what he would serve. Bubba is known to be something of a picky and simple eater. His wife, Angie, once stated that her husband eats Teriyaki Chicken every night. To be honest, the Teriyaki Chicken might have been a better choice than what Watson selected for the most exclusive dinner in all of golf, if not more interesting. I give you…Bubba’s Champions’ Dinner:
(We’ll discuss all of the signatures shortly).
Caesar Salad, Grilled Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and mac&cheese?!?!?!? With Cornbread and confetti cake for dessert?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Who picked this meal, a champion golfer or a reluctant 10-year-old at Thanksgiving?
Can’t you just imagine the looks of disappointment on the faces of the greatest players ever? Angel Cabrera (who served traditional Argentinian Asado or mixed grill in 2010) or Phil Mickelson or Billy Casper (who probably served Buffalo Steaks in 1971) and the rest of the champions probably gave a look of
And speaking of disappointed Englishmen, Sir Nick Faldo probably summed it up best with this tweet: “-
@bubbawatson you had a year to decide on, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni & cheese!!! #HappyMeal #PlayLikeaChampion”
However, the attendees are permitted to order off menu (as I’m sure many did upon seeing the haggis from Sandy Lyle in ’89).
To be honest, it’s not that anything on the menu is objectionable. As a matter of fact, it’s all pretty tame. And that’s where the problem lies. It’s just sort of, “meh”. At least we know that watching Bubba play golf will not be nearly as boring as letting him pick out what’s for dinner.
Now on to those signatures…take another look at the menu
HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Even though I can’t read half the names on there (all props to Arnold Palmer, who always made it a point to sign so that his name is legible) I know who was in that room Tuesday. The roster of Masters Champions is like a pantheon of great golfer, and some other guys too, but those “other guys” still have a locker in the Champions’ Locker Room with a green blazer waiting for them and a seat at the Champions’ Dinner…so I wish I were them.
It’s reported that Ben Crenshaw is the MC for the evening, a post initially held by Byron Nelson. Stories are told, hands are shaken, food (even as boring as this year’s) is eaten. Many former champions point to this evening as the highlight of their week at Augusta. Hell, it’d be the highlight of my life to attend just ONE Champions’ Dinner.
[A stern look comes my way. I assure my wife that our wedding and the birth of our daughter are safe at the top of my list over an invitation I’ll never receive…my fingers are crossed]
At any rate, one more congratulations to Bubba Watson on his 2012 Masters victory. I’m sure he had a night he’ll never forget…and remember, he gets to come back for the rest of his life. Perhaps the kitchen staff at Augusta National should have some grilled chicken with mac&cheese ready for next year when a grown-up meal is served and Bubba decides to order off-menu.