“KP, look, there’s your guy”

I looked up and my heart instantly started racing. Tiger Woods, my sporting hero of over twenty-years was walking toward me. Like a nervous high-schooler facing the hot popular girl/guy I started to think about what to say…


There he was, my childhood hero

“Hurry up and think of something cool, don’t be needy, this is your chance. Play this right and you could be best friends forever!”, my internal voice was screaming at me and adding to the situation.

I worked it out, I knew what I was going to say. It was nonchalant but still respectful. He was about twenty feet away now, nearly time to drop that phrase and start the friendship off on a solid-footing…and then, “Tiger, Tiger, can we get a picture please?!”

Two people, playing it far less cool than me, dropped a bomb and changed the whole situation. I was inside the ropes, up near the tour vans. Surely in this inner sanctum that sort of behaviour was frowned upon, it was the only thing stopping me asking for a picture. Who dare distract my buddy like this?!

I looked up and this is when my mind was utterly blown, the frantic picture requests were coming from fellow-competitors! Two players wanted pictures. I just laughed at how ridiculous this situation was and walked away with a petted lip having not got to speak to Tiger. However, the situation stuck with me. This is just how important Tiger is to golf, he has competitors acting like fan boys!


Earlier that day

As I walked to the course that morning I bumped into a friend who had built my driver for me. He was walking to the course with his 11-year-old son and after we had geeked-out on golf equipment, I asked his son who he wanted to win this week.

He said Tiger Woods.

I couldn’t believe it. That was the answer when I was 11, that was over twenty years ago (gulp)! He is still the one everyone wants to see out there, he is still the most exciting player in the field and his absence has only added to this! Kids still want to emulate him, I wasn’t completely shocked by this.

The weekend


I was delighted, as I’m sure were the tournament sponsors, to see that Tiger had made it to the weekend with two solid opening rounds. He was perfectly placed and was stalking the leaders like his namesake in the wild.

When I showed up to The Open on Saturday I was absolutely giddy. To be perfectly honest, teenage girls at Justin Bieber concerts hold it together better than I did that day. I was about to watch the best golf event there is, on my favourite course in the world, with my favourite golfer of all time chasing and it was all with my dad who got me into the sport. The scene was set.

Until this point, I had only ever witnessed Tiger hit one ball in real life. This was at Royal Troon in The Open Championship of 1997. Now I was going to watch him put a full round together. The crowd was like nothing I had ever witnessed except at a Ryder Cup. People clambered round every hole to get a view of the big cat plotting his way around the course.

He plotted out a solid five under par round and then something amazing happened, the golf course emptied. That’s right, even though the leaders were still out there with plenty of golf left, once Tiger was done many of the crowd were also done. This is what he brings to the world of golf. He still is the most important player out there. Attendances and viewing figures soar when the magnificent Sunday red is present. Tiger Woods still is golf.

Major number 15

There are many naysayers out there, I enjoy hearing them moan, but I am convinced Tiger will get more majors. When you look at Dustin Johnson our current world number one, he is nothing compared to Tiger. DJ on his very best game could not compete with the Tiger of the early 2000s.


The scene is set for one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history and you just know that the biopic is already being written. To use a basketball analogy, Tiger is probably still wearing the number 45 jersey. The 23 is close though.