Masters Golf Tournament 2011: Phil Mickelson's Champions Dinner A Tribute To Seve Ballestros

In one of the many Masters traditions, the reigning champion hosts a dinner ahead of the start of The Masters for past winners and a few other dignitaries. The menu for the dinner, picked by Phil Mickelson, winner of the 2010 Masters, was a little different for 2011. Instead of choosing favorites from his childhood or from his area of the country, Mickelson chose to honor Seve Ballesteros, who has been unable to travel to Augusta due to a bout with severe brain cancer in recent years.

Mickelson's Champions Dinner included a variety of Spanish favorites as a tribute to Ballesteros. Mickelson said it was a simple gesture, but the Masters competitors and past champions were all thinking about the Spanish golfing great.

"All of the past champions are really thinking about Seve," Mickelson said. "Honoring Seve is easy and no big deal. I just want him to know we all wish he was here and we are thinking about him."

With the ceremonies and pre-tournament build-up -- including Wednesday's Par 3 Tournament and the Champions Dinner -- out of the way, all that's left is for golfers to hit the course at Augusta National. The 2011 Masters begins bright and early on Thursday with the ceremonial first tee shot, to be taken by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

For the rest of our coverage, be sure to visit  our 2011 Masters StoryStream. Head on over to SB Nation Atlanta and Waggle Room for other looks at The Masters.

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