Apr 09, 2013 | 08:49 AM

Masters Dining Guide

Everyone knows it's hard to get into the Masters, whether you're a world-class player or a fan hoping to score a ticket. Even more daunting can be the task of getting back into the tournament after you've missed a year. But the latest news from Augusta brings hope for all with the triumphant return of, yes, the chicken sandwich. After being replaced last year by the healthier, trendier, grilled chicken wrap, the original (white bread, butter, sliced chicken) will rejoin fellow classics pimento cheese, egg salad, and ham on the Masters menu of $3 delights. Could this be a harbinger of other restorations—local caddies? Throttled-back golf balls? Gary McCord? Doubt it. And speaking of chicken, Bubba Watson has declined to disclose his menu for tonight's Champions Dinner, saying only that he's loaded the menu with things he likes to eat. The mind boggles…

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Apr 08, 2013 | 02:00 PM

Masterful Renovation

Augusta National's greens are its best defense against low scores, so the club goes to great lengths to take care of them, renovating one or two of them every year. Last summer saw the rebuilding of the 14th green, the course's most undulating putting surface. Here's a great timelapse video of the process. Also since last summer, Augusta started using "sensing camera technology" at the 13th and 17th greens. The “Hawkeye" system provides infrared temperature readings every ten minutes to detect areas of stress caused not only by temperature, but by insects, fungus, disease, and other environmental stressors. That's in addition to four, iPad-controlled sensors to monitor soil moisture, temperature, and salinity, which every green has. Only the best for the best.

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Apr 08, 2013 | 11:00 AM

The Masters: Who’s In, Who’s Not, Who’s Hot

It’s Masters Week, at last, so the annual Spring-fest at Augusta National rightfully receives all The Buzz’s attention for the next few days, starting with a look at the 94-player field. Scotland’s Martin Laird earned his last-minute ticket by winning the Valero Texas Open yesterday. But a number of big names didn’t make it, including Geoff Ogilvy, Retief Goosen, and Augusta-native Charles Howell III. There are 17 players making their first visit, and 6 amateurs. And who do the odds-makers like? Tiger, of course, tops the list at 7-2 to win. Other favorites, if you’re working on an office pool or fantasy league, include Rory McIlroy (8-1); Phil Mickelson (10-1); Justin Rose and Charl Schwartzel (20-1); Luke Donald, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker, and Lee Westwood (25-1); Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar, and last year’s champion Bubba Watson (30-1); and Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Ian Poulter, and Nick Watney (40-1). April, Augusta, and anticipation: As Flounder says in Animal House, “This is gonna be great!”

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Apr 05, 2013 | 07:23 PM

Gator Attack Settlement

In what is believed to be the nation's first successful claim against a private development involving a wild alligator, an Ohio man has received a confidential settlement following a 2009 attack in which the gator bit the man's arm off while golfing. The 10 1/2-foot, 400-pound reptile attacked the then 77-year-old man when he reached down to get his ball at the edge of a lagoon while playing Ocean Creek Golf Course in Fripp Island, S.C. After his son and others freed him from the gator, animal control officers killed the animal and removed the arm form the digestive track, but surgeons were unsuccessful at reattaching it. The victim's attorney, Mark D. Chappell, argued that alligators are agressive when fed by humans and the ones at Ocean Creek were routinely fed by tourists, yet the club did not warn visitors or properly investigate alligator-related complaints. He also argued that any gator over six feet is so predatory it's encumbent upon those responsible to remove the threat. "He's got a great attitude," Chappell said of his client to The Island Packet. "But he misses golfing."

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