ESPN Golf Online news services
Tuesday, April 3

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo conceded his experience on Augusta National was becoming outweighed by the superior power of the younger generation.


The 43-year-old Faldo, the only man besides Jack Nicklaus to successfully defend the title, was asked after practice if he attacked the course in the same way as he had while winning The Masters in 1989 and 1990 and again in 1996.

"Yes I do," Faldo replied. "But unfortunately everyone else is driving 40 yards past me. Golf has changed, it's become a power game now. I have to find the extra 40 yards to keep out there."

Faldo was equally relaxed about this chances of making the European team for the biennial Ryder Cup clash with the United States this year.

He said because he was now playing fewer tournaments it was necessary to do well in the majors to gather enough points to make the team.

"I have to look after myself," he said. "It's time for the younger guys from Europe to come in there and do it."

Singh's menu
Tiger Woods was content with cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Sandy Lyle wanted a native Scottish dish known as haggis. Sushi and fajitas were on Mark O'Meara's plate.


For Vijay Singh, chicken panang curry was the order of the day.

As defending Masters champion, Singh got to pick the menu for the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night. He called on close friends Charlie and Nan Niyomkul, who run the popular Tamarind Thai restaurant in Atlanta.

The couple put together a family-style menu, beginning with spring rolls and chicken satay for the appetizers, followed by scallop and shrimp coconut lemongrass soup.

For the main dish, chicken panang curry -- Singh's favorite -- was accompanied by baked sea bass with three-favor chili sauce, rack of lamb with yellow curry sauce and baked sea scallops with pepper garlic sauce.

For desert: lychee sorbee. Washing it all down: Singha beer, a native Thai beverage.

"It's a good menu," Singh said.

The Niyomkuls set up their own kitchen at Augusta National on Tuesday afternoon, with four friends assisting in the preparation. They also planned to take time explaining the exotic dishes to former champions who might be a bit skeptical about trying the spicy Asian cuisine.

"It's something new," Charlie Niyomkul said. "A lot of the players do like Thai food: Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo. For the older guys, we have set aside 45 minutes to educate those people. We'll just go around and talk to them, try to talk them into it. It's going to be some nice food."

No bones about it
In a sport where the golfer-caddie relationship is fragile, Phil Mickelson has maintained the same guy on his bag since joining the PGA Tour.


Mickelson said it's simple why he has maintained a nearly decade-long relationship with Jim "Bones" Mackay.

"I've got the best caddie on the tour," Mickelson said. "I really do. I feel very fortunate to have him, and I want to make sure he doesn't leave me."

The golfer gave an example of Mackay's attention to detail. At The International, a Colorado tournament that Mickelson has won twice, the caddie keeps a chart documenting every shot.

"It is the most difficult place to pull a club because the altitude is so difficult to judge," Mickelson said. "He has written down what yardage we've had, what club I've hit, how far it flew, what the temperature was, what the wind conditions were and ultimately where it ended up."

Mickelson also appreciates his caddie's professionalism.

"He's never been late in the nine years we've been together," Mickelson said. "I just want to make sure I do everything I can so that he doesn't leave."

Close calls
Davis Love III has one major win, the 1997 PGA Championship, and a bit of a reputation as a bridesmaid in the majors.


He tried to put his failure to finish off some majors in a different light Tuesday by using some other sports as analogies.

"You can look at stats a lot of ways. Duke has only got three national championships out of how many," Love said. "If a guy has been to the Final Four all these times or the Braves have been in the playoffs every year in the last nine years and they have only won one, well, they are the best team in baseball in the last 10 years other than the Yankees."

Still, Love admitted he would have liked to have won a few more majors.

"Yeah, I wish I would have won more," he said. "I wish I won every week. What do I expect to do? I expect to win a bunch, and I just haven't done it."

  • It began raining about 10 a.m., delaying practice rounds for about two hours and softening greens that were extremely slick on Monday.

  • For the second year in a row, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player will play together in the first two rounds. Between them, they have 13 green jackets.

  • Bob May injured his lower back during the third round of the Bob Hope Classic and hasn't played since. "If this wasn't The Masters, I might take another week or so off," May said. "If it bothers me before Thursday, I won't play. But right now it doesn't bother me." HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP
    Copyright ©2001 ESPN Internet Ventures.
    Terms of Use and
    Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site. Employment opportunities at

    Woods still savors hunt

    Tuesday: Checking in