Tiger: Plan is still to hold Masters champs dinner


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Next month’s Masters will undoubtedly be unusual in so many ways. No spectators. No azaleas. No Par 3 Contest.

But Tiger Woods is happy that one tradition — for now — will go on, albeit in a bit different format: the Champions Dinner.

The annual get-together that includes only winners of the Masters and club chairman Fred Ridley will take place, Woods said Saturday, but in a different location, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think that the plan is still to do it,” Woods said after shooting 71 in the third round of the Zozo Championship. “We’re not going to have it upstairs [in the Augusta National clubhouse], I think we’re going to have it downstairs where there’s more room so we can all be socially distant.

“I think we’re not going to get a lot of the past champions coming because obviously they’re at the at-risk age. The dinner is, as of right now, planned to go off and still have it. We’re not going to have, as I said, as many of the past champions, which is going to be a shame, but this is unlike any times we’ve ever had in the past, so we’ve got to do what we can do to obviously have the traditions that we’d like to have but also maintain safety guidelines.”

As the defending champion, Woods hosts the dinner and picks the menu, which he said would be as originally planned: steak and fajitas along with sushi and sashimi. It is what he served in 2006 following the fourth of his five Masters titles.

On April 7, what was supposed to be the Tuesday of Masters week, Woods tweeted out a photo of what he described as “Masters Champions Dinner quarantine style. Nothing better than being with family.”

The photo was of him at his South Florida home, wearing the green jacket with the Masters trophy — a clubhouse replica — on the table. With him were his girlfriend, Erica Herman, along with his daughter, Sam, and son, Charlie.

The Champions Dinner is a tradition that began at Augusta National in 1952 at the suggestion of Ben Hogan.

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