Schwartzel loves his Monkey Gland Sauce

JON McCARTHY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

AUGUSTA, GA. - Charl Schwartzel’s Champions dinner on Tuesday featured South African BBQ with Monkey Gland Sauce. Before you call PETA or Bob Barker, let the 2011 Masters champ explain.

“It’s got nothing related to the name. There’s no monkey and no gland,” he said at lunchtime Tuesday.

The annual Champions Dinner is held at the Masters Club on the Tuesday before the tournament begins. The previous year’s champion hosts the evening and chooses the menu.

Originally, Schwartzel wanted to cook the BBQ himself on the clubhouse lawn. The powers that be at Augusta National decided their chefs would prepare it — indoors. When Mike Weir hosted the dinner in 2004 his menu included roasted elk, wild boar and Arctic char. He requested that dessert be stored in igloos and that all waiters wear tuques. Okay, the last part isn’t true.

Hopefully, the past champions brought big appetites Tuesday night because they were spreading their Monkey Gland sauce over filet mignon, lamb chops, chicken breast and Boerewors sausage. Something for everyone … as long as

they like meat with their meat.

On second thought, feel free to call PETA.

MISSING THE BIG EASY

Ernie Els absence is being felt at Augusta this week. After failing to qualify for his 19th consecutive Masters and not receiving a special invite, Els is on the outside looking in.

The topic came up at the players interviews on Tuesday. Defending champ and fellow South African Charl Schwartzel was asked about Els.

“I know how much this tournament means to him,” he said. “It just feels weird. Because I play a lot of practice rounds with him in events like this and I learn so much off him.”

“You know, it’s sad not to see him here,” Schwartzel added.

Things got slightly awkward during Lee Westwood’s interview when he seemed to misinterpret one of the questions.

Westwood was asked if the field in golf today is tougher than it was five or 10 years ago. “I think obviously you get a pretty strong field here,” he answered. “They set the rules out before it all starts. Everybody knows it, and if you qualify, you qualify, and if you don’t, you’ve got no argument about it, have you?”

Westwood, who likes to have fun during interviews, added, “Is that a good answer? Tick all your boxes?”

After the news conference ended Westwood was overheard saying he thought the question was about Els.

Sounds like there is no easy questions about the Big Easy this week.


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