Spieth aims to keep low profile as Champions Dinner host

Tue Apr 5, 2016 7:18pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Last year's Masters winner Jordan Spieth will be the youngest player in the room when he hosts the Champions Dinner at Augusta National on Tuesday and plans to keep his own talking to a bare minimum.

The 22-year-old American will be serving up a Texas-style barbecue to honor his home state, and was licking his lips in anticipation of all the anecdotes to be told by his much older predecessors at the traditional Masters get-together.

"It will be certainly unique," Spieth told reporters on Tuesday. "There will be nothing that I've ever done before or will ever do that will match the first time talking to that audience. It's certainly a bit odd to think about. Cool.

"We've got guys, older champions, as well. I ran into (1979 winner) Fuzzy (Zoeller) in the champions locker room and he was a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to tonight. It's going to be a great night.

"I imagine the (Masters) chairman (Billy Payne) will maybe ask me to say a few words. I'll certainly think of something that makes sense ... but I'll probably do less talking and more listening tonight."

The Champions Dinner tradition dates back to 1952 when Ben Hogan hosted the first one, and the evening is always a special highlight during Masters week for the attendees.

"Very few people don't show up for the Champions Dinner," said Tom Watson, who won the coveted Green Jacket in 1977 and 1981. "I intend to keep on coming, God willing, that I can make it.

"You have the chance to listen to the stories, be around the older guys. I figure I'm the fourth generation from the end now. We've got Doug Ford, who is 93. We have got Bob Goalby, who is 87; Arnie (Palmer) is 86. That's the second generation.   Continued...

Apr 5, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA;  Defending Masters champion Jordan Spieth answers questions during a Tuesday press conference for the 2016 Masters at Augusta National GC. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports