Masters Traditions

Masters 2020: Champions Dinner still on schedule, according to Tiger Woods

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Barry Koenig/Augusta National

Past winners gather for the Champions Dinner at the 2019 Masters.

The Masters has already moved to November, is being held without any spectators and without the two lead-in events (the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals) that have come to kick-off the week in Georgia. But how the COVID-19 pandemic might impact the tournament’s other traditions is unclear. The club has yet to announce whether Wednesday’s Par-3 Contest or Thursday’s ceremonial opening tee shots from honorary starters Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will go on as usual.

What is on schedule, however, is the Champions Dinner, held annually on Tuesday night of Masters week. Asked about it after Saturday’s play at the Zozo Championship, Tiger Woods, the man responsible with coming up with the menu as the defending Masters champion, said the plan is to still hold the event that dates back to 1952. Past champions reportedly have been notified the dinner is a go as well.

That said, Woods noted that the dinner will be a different affair than in year’s past.

“We’re not going to have it upstairs [in the clubhouse],” Woods said. “I think we’re going to have it downstairs where there’s more room so we can all be socially distant.”

Additionally, the expectation is that some of the retired winners are unlikely to attend this year. “I think we’re not going to get a lot of the past champions coming because obviously they're at the at-risk age,” said Woods, remarking that it was a shame this would be happening but that it was understandable given the circumstances. “This is unlike any times we’ve ever had in the past, so we’ve got to do what we can do to obviously have the traditions that we’d like to have but also maintain safety guidelines.”

As for what Woods will be serving on the menu, the five-time green jacket winner said that he’ll be going forward with what he was planning in the spring: steak and chicken fajitas, sushi and sashimi, along with milkshakes for dessert.