Apr 09, 2013 | 12:48 PM

Rory Loves His Caddie

There are two things everyone knows about the Par-3 Contest at Augusta National. First, no one has won both that nine-hole tournament and the Masters in the same year. Second, players often have their friends and families caddie for them in the Wednesday afternoon fun-fest. It’s usually sons and daughters, darling little ones in size-appropriate versions of Augusta’s iconic white caddie overalls. But Rory McIlroy has another way to get fans to say, “Oooh, isn’t that cute!” He’s putting girlfriend—and international tennis star—Caroline Wozniacki on the bag tomorrow. Smart move as it makes news and pumps up the crowd while guaranteeing he won’t win. Think about it: Could you win while trying to impress your main squeeze?

Share |

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…

Share |

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.

Share |

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!”

Share |

Follow LINKS on Twitter