Reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel doesn’t want to just host this year’s Champions Dinner — he wants to prepare it. The 27-year-old has visions of grilling up a braai [right] – a sampling of traditional South African meats — under the iconic oak tree outside the clubhouse. Call it Pit Masters: Augusta National Edition. Global Golf Post has the details:
“We’ve put in the request and are still waiting to hear from them,” Schwartzel said. “But I’d love to be able to braai there. I want to braai everything myself, but we just have to see if that will be possible with the number of people there. I could end up with a very sore hand at the end of an evening turning all that meat.”
Schwartzel has already started planning his Masters braai. “I’ll keep it very simple. Ideally I would like to have a few lamb chops, some fillets and of course some boerewors (a traditional South African sausage).”
According to Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle, Schwartzel would be the first champ to trade his green jacket for a green apron:
In general, the club balks at outsiders cooking in their kitchens. Other than Vijay Singh famously bringing in a prominent Atlanta restaurateur to prepare his Thai menu in 2001, Augusta National has used its own chefs to prepare whatever the host champion desires (with the possible exception of Sandy Lyle’s haggis).
New year, same old Phil Phil Mickelson picked up his 2012 season pretty much right where he left off his 2011 season. An eagle here, a three-putt there, tee shots everywhere. It all resulted in a two-over 74 at the Humana Challenge on Thursday, a discouraging opening round at La Quinta Country Club that included a pair of out-of-bounds tee shots. Mickleson looked at the bright side:
"The round wasn't indicative of how I know I was playing. I've been playing really well heading in. I played well the front nine, made some good birdies."
"And then the back nine those couple out of bounds, one was a matter of two feet and a couple of inches on the other and those could have been a big difference."
Mickleson, who dabbled with a long putter toward the end of last season, has returned to an Odyssey blade, which is “very similar to the putter I grew up with as a kid just going back to that type of freer motion.”
“I feel really good with the putter. And that was the one area that I was concerned with. I spent the whole off-season working on that, deciding on the direction I was going to go, with what putter and what have you.
“I'm trying to make, I feel like I can make everything on the greens. I had a couple 3-putts … my speed was off on a couple, but really excited with the way it was transpiring and given the way I've been hitting it the last couple years I know I'll get that fixed and I can start shooting some numbers.”
Lefty's last win came the week before the Masters, at the Shell Houston Open. Tiger says he’s executing “all the shots” Hank who? After 17 months under the tutelage of swing coach Sean Foley, Tiger Woods says the Tao of Foley is finally clicking in an interview with ESPN's Bob Harig.
"Last year at this time I didn't truly understand what Sean was trying to teach me," Woods said. "I was very one-dimensional in my ball striking."
One-dimensional? Where does that leave the rest of us?
“I had this baby draw, didn't have a fade, and when I got to Dubai, my second tournament, the wind was howling and I couldn't hold the ball up against the wind with a fade.”
"One of the things we had to work on through the year was hitting all the shots. It didn't really start happening until the fall. I started picking up some good, positive momentum with the exhibitions I did in Asia, Australia and then winning [the Chevron World Challenge]."
Woods also revealed the genesis of his much-ballyhooed pairing with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in next month's Pebble Beach pro-am.
"He called me when I was in Australia [in November] and asked me if I was playing Pebble," Woods said. "And I said yes.” He said, 'I'd like to throw my name in the hat as a possible pairing.'
“I thought about it…"
What’s to think about? Who’s a better option? Darius Rucker? Kenny G?
"…and then I called him a day later and said, 'All right, you're in if you want to be in.'"
Gee, Tiger, way to make a guy feel good about himself. Romo later admitted that he hadn’t been that nervous since he asked Betty Finkelstein to his seventh-grade dance. Tweet of the Day [Photo credit: Gallo / Getty Images]