1. The golf course at Augusta National looks benign enough, constructed on a former nursery, flush with flowering magnolias, azaleas, and dogwood, thick with loblolly pines, and carpeted with closely cut grass. But when this course is dry and the winds kick up a bit, all of this natural beauty beguiles golfers, challenges their ball striking and, more than anything, tests their nerves.
I tuned in to today's first round of the Masters at Augusta National. The greens were firm. The winds were fickle. The course bedeviled most of the field. I saw a variety of shots coming into the greens land on the putting surface and sometimes bound off the back, sometimes trickle. Holding shots was challenging, as was nestling shots close to the pins.
After the round, Gary Woodland said he felt like he'd been in a boxing match with Mike Tyson. Sergio Garcia also felt like he'd been in the ring, as well, but with Evander Hollyfield. For many of the players, it was an exhausting grind.
But, Justin Rose, remarkably, went on a torrid scoring streak. He hit his second shot into the par 5 8th and missed the green to the left. His ball struck one of the grass mounds protecting the green and, improbably, luckily, ricocheted onto the green, ten feet from the pin and Rose sank the putt for an eagle.
After this eagle, Rose then went on a tear, birdieing seven of his round's last ten holes and fired a 65 to take a four stroke lead.
The other player who had a memorable moment in the sun was Tommy Fleetwood. He blasted his tee shot on the 16th hole straight into the hole for an ace.
2. I put the chicken carcass from Sunday's family dinner into the slow cooker today with water, onion, celery, and seasonings and started making a batch of chicken stock. I wanted to add more green to the stock. I needed a few things at Yoke's so I made a quick trip to the store, bought some parsley for the stock, and picked up a few other things, including two petit sirloin steaks in a single package. Back home, I tossed the parsley into the crock pot and returned to watching golf, the house filling up with great aromas as the stock bubbled away.
3. Late in the afternoon, I suddenly had a bright idea! I realized I had what I needed to fix myself a great breakfast for dinner. I fried a couple of strips of bacon and, in time, added a small mass of chopped Yukon gold baby potatoes to the cast iron pan. As the potatoes were nearly done cooking, I seasoned one of my petit sirloins, fixed it as close to medium rare as I could, and, while it cooked, I fried a couple of eggs.
I couldn't remember the last time I had a steak and egg breakfast with bacon and fried potatoes. I wish I'd had bread on hand to also have some toast, but it didn't matter much.
I loved this dinner and look forward to fixing myself another one in the near future -- possibly with some variations.