Following his opening 69 in the first round of the Masters, Adam Scott spoke about his first Champions Dinner

Words: Robin Barwick

Having shot an excellent first round of 69, three under par, in the first round of the 2014 Masters, defending champion Adam Scott faced the media for the first time since hosting Augusta National’s traditional Champions’ Dinner on Tuesday evening.

Scott admitted to being nervous ahead of the dinner, naturally.

“I was a little nervous,” he said. “I had no idea what to expect. A couple of the guys were winding me up, asking whether I had picked my song.  I was like, ‘really?’ I may be a little gullible, but that was pretty funny.”

Scott would not reveal the menu in advance of golf’s most exclusive annual dinner, beyond promising a distinct Australian theme, but here is a run-down of what was served: Artichoke & Arugula salad with grilled calamari to start, followed by Australian Wagyu New York Strip with Moreton Bay Bugs, and then to finish, Strawberry & Passion Fruit Pavlova (Scott’s mother’s recipe). The wine was Penfolds 2009 Chardonnay and Penfolds 2005 Shiraz, both from South Australia.

The acid test with the Champions’ Dinner is to see how many guests go with the menu, and how many quietly opt for a ‘stick-with-what-you-know-steak’. As a proud Aussie and the first Australian Masters champion, Scott was keen that the illustrious fellow Masters champions would not opt out of his offering.

“I think my menu was received very well,” Scott told Golf Monthly yesterday. “No one to my knowledge ordered anything other than what was on the menu, so I think I passed, and I made sure to serve good wine so the wine drinkers couldn’t have a go at me about that! The Champions’ Dinner is just a buzz.”

Byron Nelson would traditionally speak on behalf of the past Champions at this Tuesday night dinner, and Ben Crenshaw – Masters champion in 1984 and 1995 – has since taken on the responsibility. As defending champion, Scott was also required to speak.

“Speaking was emotional, so I kept it short and sincere,” recounted Scott. “All I had to say was really how grateful I am to the golf club here at Augusta National for everything that I’ve been able to experience in the last 12 months, and how everyone in that room has been an inspiration to me.  I probably rambled a little more than that, but that was about it. It’s quite hard to address a room with all the guys that you’ve looked up to forever.”

Robin Barwick travelled to Augusta National courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, Global Sponsor of the 2014 Masters Tournament