Cigar Aficionado

Masters’ Moments

Watching the Masters for a golfer is like taking in the Super Bowl for an NFL fan or the World Series for a baseball fanatic. I usually lounge in my den all afternoon on Masters Sunday, but this year, a buddy of mine had a better idea; we’d play 18 holes and then head to his house for a late lunch and a cigar. We were joined by another friend whose father had hosted each of us at Augusta National Golf Club on separate occasions.

We got a little more than we bargained for Sunday. We teed off in a brisk wind with gusts into the 20 mile an hour range. It was just like Augusta on Sunday, except it was about 25 degrees colder at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Westchester County. On the club’s signature par-3, 150-yard, 16th hole (see Rebirth of a Classic in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Cigar Aficionado), my usual club of choice on the downhill hole is an eight or nine iron depending on the hole location. We all picked six-irons out of the bag and everyone was short. (I actually mistakenly pulled a nine-iron but skulled it and made the fringe…oh yeah, it was a good miss. If I’d gotten it up in the air, it would have been buried in a creek at the bottom of the gully.)

By the time we got back to the clubhouse, we were all pretty cold and a little beat-up by the wind. But it was 3:15, and the Masters telecast was well underway. We raced over to my friend’s house, poured Scotches for them and a rum for me, and sat down to start cheering and jeering and bemoaning the missed chances or the blown rounds. When Tiger birdied 11, we all thought, game on! But it wasn’t to be.

My friend cooked up a great seafood pasta with clams and squid. We opened a bottle of 1995 Italian red (yeah, we all love seafood with red wine) and then a bottle of 1999 Caymus Special Selection, and then, finally, it was time for cigars. I had brought some Padrón 1964 Aniversarios with about six or seven years of age on them, and a couple of Tatuajes. We were sitting in my friend’s home office where he operates his own stock trading business. I asked him if he smoked regularly in there; I was pretty sure I knew the answer because it didn’t have that familiar aroma of leather and fabric permeated with cigar smoke. He said not regularly, but he wanted to today. I said remember this word: Ozium, which is a room deodorizer. And, we opened all the windows to help keep the air moving.

Then we lit up. Sipping on Caymus, smoking great cigars and watching Trevor Immelman hold it together long enough to earn his green jacket capped a great day.

How did you spend your Masters Sunday?