Tiger Woods has been mostly quiet since the sports world went into lockdown, but he acknowledged Tuesday on social media that he would have been hosting the Champions Dinner at Augusta National had the Masters not been postponed.
“Masters Champions Dinner quarantine style. Nothing better than being with family,” Woods captioned a photo of himself wearing the green jacket with the Masters trophy — a clubhouse replica — on the table. With him at his South Florida home are his girlfriend, Erica Herman, his daughter, Sam, and his son, Charlie.
Masters Champions Dinner quarantine style. Nothing better than being with family. pic.twitter.com/xPK769CWCf
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 7, 2020
The Champions Dinner is a tradition that began at Augusta National in 1952 at the suggestion of Ben Hogan. Only past Masters champions and the club chairman, currently Fred Ridley, attend the gathering.
The dinner is hosted by the defending champion, who picks the menu for the evening (though the attendees are allowed to order whatever they want off the club’s menu). Woods had selected the same menu for this year’s version of the dinner as that of 2006, the last time he won the Masters: steak and fajitas, along with sushi and sashimi. He also said he was considering milkshakes, which were part of the menu in 1998, after his first of five victories.
Although there was no official word on the menu at Woods’ home, his picture appeared to show sushi, steaks and fajitas on the table.
It was at the 2017 dinner that Woods told some in attendance he thought his career was over because of the recurring back pain that hampered his career.
“At that time, I was done,” Woods said in 2018. “I didn’t know what I was going to be doing. I had no golf in my future at that time. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sit.”
Woods left the dinner that night and headed to London for a consultation with specialists, who recommended spinal fusion surgery. Since then, he has played two full seasons on the PGA Tour and won three tournaments to tie Sam Snead for the all-time PGA Tour record with 82 wins. The Masters victory was Woods’ 15th major title.
Woods, 44, has not played in a tournament since Feb. 16, when he finished 82nd at the Genesis Invitational, last among those who made the cut. He skipped a tournament in Mexico, as well as the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship, at which the schedule was indefinitely put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 16, a few days after the Players was canceled and the Masters postponed, Woods tweeted: “There are a lot more important things in life than a golf tournament right now. We need to be safe, smart and do what is best for ourselves, our loved one and our community.”
The Masters has been rescheduled for November, and if all goes well, Woods will have a chance to host the Champions Dinner on Nov. 10.
Masters Rewind will air this week on ESPN from 1:30 to 7 p.m. ET Wednesday, 2 to 11 p.m. ET Thursday and noon to 11:30 p.m. ET Friday.