The Round Table: What would you serve at the Masters Champions Dinner?

Each week we ask our panel of writers, PGA members and golf industry experts to weigh in with their views on the hot topics of the day.

Peter Malnati broke an eight-year victory drought when he won the Valspar Championship on Sunday. When he addressed the media, he was very emotional and pointed out how much a win meant for a “little guy” on Tour, meaning not one of the top ranked players that gets into all the majors and Signature events. There was no mention of money, just the thrill of achievement and sharing it with his family and team. What other grinder on Tour do you think deserves his own Cinderella story?

Jim Deeks, Fairways Magazine (@jimdeeks): A lot of our Canadian boys (and Brooke Henderson) could do with a victory.  There’s always one or two (of six or seven Canadian players) on leaderboards each week, but it’s very rare that any of them breaks through with a great final round.  Other than that, I’d love to see Camilo Villegas do the Cinderella thing.

Craig Loughry, Golf Ontario (@craigloughry):  He’s not a little guy, but he’s battled out there for years with a little success, Gary Woodland. I find myself cheering for him each week, especially coming back from surgery, and the loss of a child. He seems like a really good human. He has persevered, and that is someone I can root for.

Michael Schurman, Master Professional / Hall of Fame Member, PGA of Canada: Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood are two guys I watch with dismay. From time to time each surface but somewhere on the 68th hole, they either do something or don’t do something to earn a victory. Another ‘breakthrough’ story is Cameron Young. He has come so close; the Golf Gods owe him. I predict something really big will come to him soon. Maybe the Masters.

Hal Quinn, Freelance Writer, Vancouver: Tough to care about the never-winning “grinders” when their career earnings can be Googled. Even for the ones with surnames the average golf fan can’t remember or spell, there are a lot of zeroes after the first number (endorsement money ain’t included and no one plays in shirts and hats that don’t look like NASCAR rides). Decades  ago, grinders would have to face reality and get real jobs. That went away with the first Eldrick Woods TV deal. So, guys who I’d like to see win, who have great games and are the real deal? Tommy Fleetwood (yes, he’s won elsewhere) and Cam Young. Almost every event, they are worth the price of admission

Peter Mumford, Fairways Magazine (@FairwaysMag): I’ve always pulled for Tommy Fleetwood, except in last year’s Canadian Open. The long-haired Englishman came oh-so-close in a handful of majors a few years back and it looked like he was primed for a breakthrough. Not sure what’s holding him back now, but I sure would like to see him get a trophy.

The Masters is just a few weeks away and Scottie Scheffler is clearly the hottest player in the world right now. Is he your pick to win another green jacket or do you favour someone else?

Deeks: Eight of us were having that very same discussion yesterday, and the unanimous verdict was, indeed, Scottie Scheffler.  But my personal preference would be Rory McIlroy.  He deserves a Masters win, but I’m so afraid that if he’s in the mix on Sunday afternoon, nerves will get the better of him.

Loughry: It will be hard to bet against Scheffler to win the Masters, but if he putts half decently, the jacket is probably his. I wouldn’t completely count out Rahm though, past success and competitive spirit. A sneaky pick might be Zalatoris, he seems to be coming into form since returning (the putter looks good and so are the results).

Schurman: Mind reader. I’ll stick with Cam Young or Nick Taylor.

Quinn: I’ve picked Rory every year since he left Holywood, so maybe if I don’t he’ll finally…… Nah. The Scheffler Shuffler (no one is teaching or emulating that footwork) has already done a repeat, and it would be awful for the fragile state of the pro game if a LIVer like Rahm or Koepka won it. So, hoping for a Tour player to get the jacket, it would be a terrific Sunday if Viktor Hovland or Wyndham Clark donned it.

Mumford: Now that he’s putting lights out with his new mallet, it’s hard to bet against Scheffler. However, it’s the Masters and plenty of players raise their game for Augusta. I could see a repeat of last year’s battle between Rahm and Koepka, and I wouldn’t count Jordan Spieth out either. He seems to get inspired when he drives down Magnolia Lane.

Reigning champion Jon Rahm released the menu he has chosen for the Champions Dinner that he will host on Tuesday of Masters week. It’s heavy on his favourites from the Basque region of Spain. If you were the reigning Masters champion, what would you serve?

Deeks: Vichyssoise, wagyu cheeseburger, corn on the cob, seasoned fries, side cobb salad, chocolate sundae, and a generous selection of Tim Horton donuts.  What I like to call “gourmet food”.

Loughry: I’d go simple old school and recreate the Last Supper; after all, it is Easter. Some wine, bread, fruits, and fish. Nothing fancy.

Schurman: Adult Menu: Potato leak soup, Shrimp cocktail, Salmon Wellington on a bed of watercress w/bacon wrapped asparagus & Duchess potatoes, Blueberry lime pie w/whipped crème, California Chardonnay. Bubba Menu: Deep Fried Gator burger, Potato chips, Vanilla sundae, Coca Cola.

Quinn: Poutine all round! And sides of back bacon (known in areas like Augusta as Canadian Bacon). Think Weir got it pretty well right with his menu, eh? Have to go coast to coast with Screech, lobster, the poutine, Alberta beef, Pacific Salmon, and shots of rye. Nanaimo bars and maple syrup for dessert (optional). Done and done.

Mumford: Typically, I’d be delighted with a burger but wouldn’t want to disappoint the Augusta National chefs. So, I’ll go with crab cakes, Caesar salad, Prime Rib with horseradish, double baked potatoes and glazed carrots. For dessert, I’d offer a choice of apple crisp or apple pie, topped with a scoop of pralines and cream ice cream.

Fairways Magazine

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