Tiger Woods’ magnetism is well documented. When he steps on property, the vibe is just different. All eyeballs gravitate toward the 15-time major champion, and it’s been that way since before he was a pro.
Even his fellow competitors sometimes have trouble not being sucked in by Woods’ aura. Those who have been around for a while get (somewhat) used to it, but for rookies and other younger players, it’s hard not to get awestruck.
Three-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings remembers his first pairing with Woods (see video above). It was at the 2012 Memorial Tournament, and Stallings, a lifelong Tiger fan, used his introduction to thank the superstar for inspiring him to pursue the game.
“You made some kid from Tennessee want to come out here and chase it,” Stallings said on this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar. “I just wanted to tell him thank you.”
The rest of the round was largely unremarkable for the twosome, each shooting 73, until they were walking up the 18th fairway. That’s when Woods did, what Stallings called, the “most impressive” thing he’s seen on Tour.
“He said, ’67 and I’ll see you in a playoff,’” Stallings said. “I said, ‘Bro, we’re in like 18th.’ He said, ‘The wind is switching. We’re gonna go out a little bit earlier — I think 67 gets into a playoff. I think that’ll be good enough with how the course is gonna play.’”
Stallings was baffled. But sure enough, the following day Woods went out and shot 66 to win the tournament by two.
“He knew,” Stallings said. “It was awesome.”