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Sandy Lyle haggis banquet to be recreated

Sandy Lyle is to re-create the famous haggis banquet which caused such a stir at the Champions Dinner after he won the US Masters in 1988. Scottish golf legend Lyle, the 1985 Open champion, raised more than a few eyebrows when he got the Augusta chefs to serve up the world-renowned delicacy to celebrate his dramatic final hole triumph over Mark Calcavecchia.

Now Haggis is back on the menu, this time for Lyle's Tribute Dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow on Thursday, June 14. And the first Brit to capture the Masters admitted last night that the glitzy evening will bring back a whole host of memories of his fairytale moment 22 years ago when he conjured up that magical seven iron from the bunker at the last to leave Calcavecchia gasping in disbelief.

As tradition goes the US Masters champion draws up the menu of his choice at the Champions Dinner the following year. Lyle, whose big dash in Glasgow will act as a major fund-raiser for junior golf in Scotland, had no hesitation in going for Scotland's national dish.

He revealed - "A few of the golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson who has been to Scotland before, had already experienced the unique flavour of haggis. But there were a few others who were curious at what was being served up.

"It was the first time haggis had been produced at the Champions Dinner in Augusta when I was asked what what was I just told them it was spicy meat with neeps and tatties and a dram of whisky if you wanted to drown it. "

The haggis was piped in with due solemnity at which point the faces of Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and the rest of the old fellas were a picture as I plunged my trusty dirk through the sheep's stomach and launched into Rabbie Burns "

It is safe to say that the Augusta National Golf Club has never witnessed a scene quite like it and when his turn came to act as host, Nick Faldo responded to my culinary challenge with fish and ships and mushy peas but by far the most popular Masters feast has been the Thai banquet laid on by Vijay Singh in 2001. "

The dinner in Glasgow will bring back a lot of memories. Even although it was a good few years ago that I won the Masters it seems like it could have happened just 12 months ago and I'm looking forward to meeting up with old friends such as my old caddie Dave Musgrove. "I'm looking forward to speaking, with Dougie Donnelly, and while it will be a bit nerve-wracking it's going to be well worthwhile with the funds raised for junior golf.

"I'll be bringing my Green Jacket over as well. I don't get the chance to bring it out of the clubhouse - it has been gathering dust - but it will be nice to put it on show in Glasgow even although it does not fit me now.

"While winning the Masters was exhausting it was an amazing experience. "I was going head to head with Calcavecchia at the last although I remember very clearly having a two shot lead after nine holes only to lose it quickly at the 11th and 12th when I dropped three shots.

"When I went into the bunker it was not the most pleasant moment I've ever had. Luckily enough for me the ball finished on the up slope and while I could not see the green the shot - from about 150 yards - felt good and I managed to get it 10 feet or so at the back of the hole and I managed to make the putt which was a great relief."

*For more information about the Sandy Lyle dinner 'phone Lisa Higgins on 0141 229 6709 and see SandyLyleTribute.com.

 

May 18, 2007




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