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Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie excluded at the Masters for having to wear sandals

Matt-FitzpatrickUS Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick is facing a tall task in his first ever Masters appearance. The 19-year-old will need all the help he can get if he wants to make the cut at Augusta, and unfortunately some of that help will be coming from a new caddy.

Fitzpatrick’s caddie Lorne Duncan is suffering from a foot condition that forces him to have to wear sandals in order to avoid tremendous pain. According to the BBC, sandals — along with a long list of other articles of clothing — are prohibited at Augusta National. As a result, Fitzpatrick has been forced to leave the tournament.

“I went to speak to the powers that be at Augusta National about alternative footwear that would allow me to get through the week but my inquiries were met with a resounding ‘No,’” Duncan wrote in a blog post. “My feet were so sore after one practice round in runners that I had no alternative but to withdraw my services.”

Fred Ridley, chairman of the Masters competition committee, said that Duncan was treated the same as anyone else and that his health condition was taken into consideration.

“Duncan was told he had to wear tennis shoes like all caddies,” Ridley said. “We are not treating him any different. I am sure whatever reasons he raised were considered.”

Duncan has been venting about the decision on Twitter since it was made. He sent one particularly nasty tweet after he was forced to withdraw.

“Apparently aesthetics are more important than people,” Duncan wrote, according to the BBC. “I told TD [tournament director] he was pathetic. I hate the place.”

Controversy over club policies is nothing new at Augusta. While the footwear issue isn’t nearly as polarizing as the exclusion of women was two years ago, it’s still disappointing that the committee could not make an exception for Duncan. I highly doubt he was lying about a condition simply because he wanted to wear flip-flops.

H/T Extra Mustard

Guy bets $1,600 on Rory McIlroy to win Masters after seeing McIlroy’s face in his pastry

rory-mcilroyRory McIlroy is a popular pick to win the 2014 Masters, which is not a surprise considering he is one of the best golfers in the world. But at least one guy didn’t need the World Golf Rankings or past tournament results to tell him to bet on McIlroy. He saw it in his breakfast.

According to the Irish Daily Mirror, a college lecturer and golf fanatic named Rob Price wagered $1,600 (€1,200) on McIlroy to win the Masters after a Danish pastry he ordered looked like the 24-year-old golfer. It sounds insane, but I can actually see what Price is talking about.

Price said he was going to put about $150 on McIlroy to win anyway but he had to bet big when Rory’s face was staring back at him.

“It’s got to be a sign – Rory’s face on a piece of food from his girlfriend’s home country,” Price said. “My mates have had a giggle and think I’m mad, but if I pocket €14,400, I’ll be the one laughing.”

For those of you keeping track in US dollars, €14,400 is roughly $20,000. Don’t forget, McIlroy’s fiancee Caroline Wozniacki is from Denmark (that means she’s Danish). That’s another sign Price took into consideration. While Price’s bet certainly qualifies for our growing list of crazy sports bets, we’re rooting for him.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Tim Clark has chip roll back to exactly where he hit it from (GIF)

Tim-Clark-chipSouth Africa’s Tim Clark is not exactly a well-known golfer, but he has played in the Masters every year since 1998. He finished a respectable 11th at the 2013 Masters and was even a runner-up at Augusta back in 2006. His opening round got off to a rough start on Thursday.

Clark hit his chip a bit fat on the 6th hole and it ended up rolling back to almost the exact same spot he hit it from. The shot looked like one you would see on a Saturday afternoon at your local municipal golf course. In other words, it looked like something I would have done.

Clark ended up with a double-bogey on the hole, which pushed him to five-over through six holes. Fortunately, it’s only Thursday.

GIF via @PeteBlackburn

Caroline Wozniacki, in pink hair, sinks long putt at Masters (Video)

Caroline Wozniacki caddied for fiancee Rory McIlroy at the Masters par 3 contest Wednesday, and she actually made a nice putt on the ninth hole.

Woz got some help from Rory on lining it up, and she hit the ball softly and it ended up going in. The two celebrated the great shot, and Wozniacki then proudly tweeted about her accomplishment.

Oh, and did we mention that Caro’s hair was dyed a shade of pink or red:

Caroline Wozniacki pink hair

What color is that, Caro? A little Manic Panic Red Passion? Or perhaps the Pretty Flamingo?

Nice shot by her for sure!

2014 expert Masters predictions

Adam-Scott-green-jacket

Those of you who have been loyal LBS readers for years know that the Masters is easily one of Del’s favorite sporting events of the year. In addition to being a tradition unlike any other, the Masters is also a chance for sports fans to forget about the disaster their NCAA Tournament bracket turned out to be. Given that we had a No. 7 seed vs a No. 8 seed for the title this year, I’m guessing that applies to a lot of you.

The best way to shake off the March Madness hangover is to get yourself into a Masters pool. It gives you something to watch from Thursday to Saturday and makes the best golf tournament of the year that much better. For those of you who are looking for some advice, I’ve broken down this year’s contenders and pretenders.

[Read more...]

Adam Scott’s Masters Champions Dinner menu included Moreton Bay Bugs

Adam-Scott-Masters-dinner

Adam Scott won the Masters last year, which means he was in charge of picking the menu for this year’s annual Masters Champions Dinner. One of the menu items he decided to go with is a shellfish from his home country that I’m guessing most of the green jacket winners had never tried.

Scott’s menu featured a surf and turf combo that included a Wagyu beef New York strip steak served with Moreton Bay Bugs, which are a type of Australian lobster. Darren Rovell shared a photo of what the fish looked like before it was prepared.

Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel described Moreton Bay Bugs as “little lobsters that taste like heaven,” so I’m sure most of the diners enjoyed them. And I’m sure they were relieved to find out they would not actually be eating bugs.

Photo: Twitter/Rex Hoggard

John Daly used to drink 26-28 cans of Diet Coke a day

john-dalyAnyone who believes John Daly is a healthy human being should probably have their head examined. The 47-year-old has toned it down a bit in recent years, but he still smokes like a chimney and has admitted to binge drinking in between his frequent attempts at getting back on the wagon. He also slams Diet Coke like nobody’s business.

In a recent interview with Ewan Murray of The Guardian, Daly spoke about his personal life and the lap-band procedure he had done back in 2009. He has shed a few pounds and curbed some bad habits since having the surgery. For example, he has cut his Diet Coke intake in half. He still drinks enough to drown a small child.

“I still drink that but not nearly as much as I used to,” Daly explained. “The band won’t allow me to drink as many. If I don’t have ice, I can’t drink it. I can’t have it straight because of the carbonation. I have to drink it slowly and not out of a can, I need some ice. I used to have 26-28 cans a day. Now I have 10-12 at the most.”

I can’t decide if drinking a 30-pack of Diet Coke per day would be more or less dangerous than drinking a 30-pack of beers. Considering Daly probably did both in his drinking prime, it doesn’t really matter. Add the 40 cigarettes he said he smokes a day to the mix and you realize that John Daly is pretty much still John Daly. The pants he wore a few months ago could have confirmed that.

H/T The Big Lead