Tiger serves up steaks

Pro builds 12th hole replica in his garden, Faldo TV date

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 9 Apr 2002

Tiger Woods defends his US Masters green jacket at Augusta National back on a beef diet after going 48 days without eating red meat.

He’ll be serving up Porterhouse steaks on his menu for the traditional Champions Dinner tonight after a Japanese sushi starter.

"Sashimi is my favourite, and we'll then serve Porterhouse steaks, grilled chicken breasts, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables."

"My friends gave up french fries, bread and beer, and somehow no one caved in. I lost a couple of pounds but now I can eat cheeseburgers again," said the World No.1.

Of his chances of repeating his win – by two shots over David Duval last year - Woods says: "I'm sure it will be a tough week, but that's the way it is supposed to be at majors. I'm excited and really looking forward to the challenge."

Tucker’s 12th hole replica
Jerry Tucker, a pro on the US Senior Tour has built a copy of Augusta’s famed 12th hole in his Florida backyard – with the blessing of the US Masters host club.

After considering a practice putting green in the garden of the Eagles Landing development he joined forces with neighbour Roger Kennedy, the pro at Pompano Beach to provide the tee, 155 yards away just like the par-3 at Amen Corner.

Tucker’s even got the lake in front to mirror Rae's Creek and built a bunker in front of the green and two identical ones at the back, just like the famous Golden Bell hole.

"I kept looking at this space in my back yard and the angle of the water, and it just came together. It wasn't mystic or anything, but it's amazing how many things worked out. It’s perfectly to scale."

It all looks so familiar. The long, narrow green on a left-to-right slant with the bunker in front, the two bunkers rising up at the back and foliage behind it. All that’s missing is the Hogan Bridge

The hole can be played by anyone in the development with a rule that only three shots can be played at one time. Neighbour Tripper Burton has already had a hole-in-one.

Tucker isn't worried that he'll get in trouble with Masters officials for making the replica hole. A recent court decision in Houston ruled holes cannot be patented. A spokesman for Augusta National said this week there's no problem with Tucker's hole as long as he doesn't charge money by using the Masters trademark.

Even without the swirling winds from Amen Corner, Tucker has learned to appreciate the fickleness of Augusta’s 12th.

"It's the only shot where once the ball is in the air, you don't know what to say to it," he said.

Faldo signs TV commentary deal
Nick Faldo as a three-time Masters champion, will be back at Augusta this week, but he’ll literally be ‘sitting out’ the US Open in June at Bethpage, New York with headphones round his ears and a microphone in his hand.

Faldo, 44, has signed a three-year deal to do commentary and analysis for the Orlando-based Golf Channel, though he says, contrary to reports, he’s far from retiring as a competitor. He believes he can play, confirmed by his early performance in the Players championship.

"I am a totally different player to ten years ago, " said Faldo this week. "Some bits might actually be better than 10 years ago, but some bits might not."

Faldo, who won Masters in 1989, '90 and '96, has fought his putting, but he insists it's getting better. And he said his dedication has never wavered.

"The dedication has always been there, but the frustration has probably grown a bit more, as well," he said. "Things haven't quite gone to plan. I have had a lot to deal with off the golf course for quite a few years."

Faldo will play the European Tour, a few selected other events and rejects any retirement talk as premature.

"We're a long way from that. I'm not even going down that road. We've got a lot of work to do and we'll see what happens."



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