Defending Masters champion Sergio Garcia, left, greets Nicholas Gross, of Downington, Pa., after Gross’ putt on the 18th green to win his age group putting championship during the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 1, 2018.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Defending Masters champion Sergio Garcia tweeted a picture Tuesday of the menu he chose for Tuesday night’s Masters Club Dinner, commonly known as the Champions Dinner, in the clubhouse at Augusta National Golf Club. Only the former winners and the Masters and Augusta National chairman, Fred Ridley, are allowed to attend.
Garcia is serving an international salad (ingredients paying homage to the Masters’ international champions), Spanish lobster rice and his wife Angela’s Tres Leches Cake. Dinner attendees are given the option of ordering steak, chicken or fish off the club’s menu.
Angela Akins Garcia, who married Garcia in July in her native Texas, is the cousin of Saints quarterback Drew Brees. She gave birth March 14 to the couple’s first child, Azalea Adele Garcia. The baby’s first name is the same as at Augusta National Golf Club’s 13th hole, where Sergio avoided disaster after hitting his drive into the trees during the 2017 tournament’s final round.
"We got engaged New Year’s Eve 2016 to 2017 and in the year before we came to Augusta, we were talking about kids and names and how many and things like that, and out of the blue she (Angela) came up with the idea," Garcia said Tuesday. "She said, ‘So if it works out, timing wise and place and stuff, why don’t we name our first kid regarding where you win your first major?’ And I was like, well, that’s a great idea.
"So we started looking at different names from here that related to Augusta, obviously looked at Georgia, we looked at Magnolia, Holly, different ones, but we really liked Azalea, for different reasons. First of all, because we thought it was a very pretty name. You write it the same way in English and in Spanish, which is great, and also because of it’s the hole that kind of turned things around on the final round and kind of got me going to be able to win the Masters last year.
"So it’s just one of those nice stories that we’ll be able to tell her when she grows up a little bit."
‘Now, Warren Morris’
Sean McDonough has called a lot of incredible moments in his long broadcasting career: Joe Carter’s home run to win the 1993 World Series, the fumbled punt ending of the 2015 Michigan State-Michigan game, and the six-overtime Syracuse-Connecticut game in the 2009 Big East Tournament.
But McDonough, who will host Wednesday’s Par-3 Contest telecast for ESPN (2 p.m. CDT) said Warren Morris’ home run that won the 1996 College World Series for LSU ranks up there with any of them.
“People ask me what’s the most exciting finish you’ve called,” McDonough said. “That one is always high on the list.”
McDonough said he remembers LSU coach Skip Bertman telling the CBS crew calling the game that Morris was “a great hitter” but had broken a bone in his hand, robbing him of his power.
All McDonough had time to say was “Now, Warren Morris” before Morris belted the first pitch from Miami reliever Robbie Morrison.
“So when he turned and hit a screaming line drive down the right-field line, I think it added to the surprise in the call,” said McDonough, who also called four Masters for CBS from 1996-99. “It was surprising, tremendous ending.”
Speaking of the Par-3
The 2017 Par-3 Contest was washed out by rain, the first time that has happened since the event began in 1960. The forecast for Wednesday is also threatening, with a 60 percent chance of rain in the morning.
The weather is expected to clear up Thursday and Friday with temperatures in the 60s and 70s before a 60 percent chance of rain comes back into the forecast Saturday afternoon. Cool breezy conditions are forecast Sunday.
The lady is a champ
The steep slopes and slick, dewy grass Tuesday morning at Augusta National were enough to challenge even the able-bodied to stay upright. Baton Rouge resident Ann Hartman was trying to negotiate the property with a walker and a big brace on her left knee after suffering a bruised MCL while skiing last month in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Hartman’s doctor advised her to stay home and rest. But the prospect of her first visit to the Masters — care of four practice round tickets her husband Charlie won in the tournament’s annual lottery — vetoed that suggestion.
“I just wasn’t going to miss it,” Hartman said, as she pulled out her binoculars to get a better look at Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson playing the par-5 13th.
Ann and Charlie Hartman, who was making his third Masters visit, were accompanied by their daughter Cara and her husband Bryan O’Leary. His sister is former Episcopal standout and U.S. Olympic rower Megan O’Leary.