By Nick Bonfield published
Following his opening 69 in the first round of the Masters, Adam Scott spoke about his first Champions Dinner
Words: Robin Barwick
Having shot an excellent first round of 69, three under par, in the first round of the 2014 Masters, defending champion Adam Scott faced the media for the first time since hosting Augusta National’s traditional Champions’ Dinner on Tuesday evening.
Scott admitted to being nervous ahead of the dinner, naturally.
“I was a little nervous,” he said. “I had no idea what to expect. A couple of the guys were winding me up, asking whether I had picked my song. I was like, ‘really?’ I may be a little gullible, but that was pretty funny.”
Scott would not reveal the menu in advance of golf’s most exclusive annual dinner, beyond promising a distinct Australian theme, but here is a run-down of what was served: Artichoke & Arugula salad with grilled calamari to start, followed by Australian Wagyu New York Strip with Moreton Bay Bugs, and then to finish, Strawberry & Passion Fruit Pavlova (Scott’s mother’s recipe). The wine was Penfolds 2009 Chardonnay and Penfolds 2005 Shiraz, both from South Australia.
The acid test with the Champions’ Dinner is to see how many guests go with the menu, and how many quietly opt for a ‘stick-with-what-you-know-steak’. As a proud Aussie and the first Australian Masters champion, Scott was keen that the illustrious fellow Masters champions would not opt out of his offering.
“I think my menu was received very well,” Scott told Golf Monthly yesterday. “No one to my knowledge ordered anything other than what was on the menu, so I think I passed, and I made sure to serve good wine so the wine drinkers couldn't have a go at me about that! The Champions’ Dinner is just a buzz.”
Byron Nelson would traditionally speak on behalf of the past Champions at this Tuesday night dinner, and Ben Crenshaw – Masters champion in 1984 and 1995 – has since taken on the responsibility. As defending champion, Scott was also required to speak.
“Speaking was emotional, so I kept it short and sincere,” recounted Scott. “All I had to say was really how grateful I am to the golf club here at Augusta National for everything that I've been able to experience in the last 12 months, and how everyone in that room has been an inspiration to me. I probably rambled a little more than that, but that was about it. It's quite hard to address a room with all the guys that you've looked up to forever.”
Robin Barwick travelled to Augusta National courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, Global Sponsor of the 2014 Masters Tournament
Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel with The Masters and USPGA respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x