On July 3rd, me and my college roommates (we'll call them TJ and Noord to hide their identities), ventured up to Newton Square, Pennsylvania for Tiger Wood's AT&T National Golf Tournament. We decided this would be a good idea for a few reasons 1) We were sure Tiger would be there as he's hosting the tournament, 2) The tickets were free which means I'm always in. Heck, I'd attend the premier of a Drew Barrymore movie if you told me it was free, and 3) I jump at any chance to see grown men worth millions wearing plaid pants, visors and bleach blonde hair. It's the same reason I tried to go to N*Sync's reunion tour this year (only Lance showed up).
This was the first golf tournament that I attended (read: this was the first golf tournament that had free entry for me), so I was excited about the experience and chance to see the golfers up close and personal. Plus, I had my two trusty guides to tell me what was appropriate to yell after a shot. *Note: when Tiger yells "No, TIGER!" after an errant tee shot "That's what she said" is NOT appropriate.
My guides, TJ and Noord, had a very specific plan laid out for us. We arrive at the course at 9:00am, Tiger tees off at 9:02am. I figure, "This is great! We'll arrive right as he's at the first tee then we'll be able to see him all day and he'll write us each checks for $50,000 for being great fans!"
I failed to realize, however, that this same thought was going through the heads of at least 4,000 other individuals there that morning. So you know what we did? Headed straight to the 7th tee box. That's right. Tiger was on the first hole, and we had to go to the 7th hole in order to get a good seat to see him. He's mildly popular.
Fortunately for us, PGA Tour photographers decided that the first picture they would put in their online gallery on the PGA website would be of Tiger teeing off....from the 7th tee. I knew I could trust TJ and Noord! The picture of Tiger is classic, see his focus? See TJ making kissy faces at him? See me staring at his butt? See Noord's head? Oh, you can't? It's the thing that looks like Tiger's chest. Sorry Noord!
After we watched Tiger and his squadron of minions on the 7th, we retreated back the first hole to watch a bunch of golfer's you've never heard of tee off. We'll use this break in the action to describe some of the weirdos that attend golf tournaments.
1. First you have these three idiots. I'm probably not the one on my phone bidding on things on eBay. Probably.
2. Seeing as it was July 3rd, some old man thought it fitting to wear an American flag patterned bandanna, shirt, pants, and All-Star Chuck Taylor Converse's. It's a shame he couldn't bring his barrel of moonshine or his wife-sister in with him.
3. An odd amount of skinny jeans were found on this farmer's tan-inducingly hot day. Which was unsettling, but not as much as...
4. Guy's who dress like Tiger on Sunday. We all know Tiger wears red on Sunday so he can shoot a low score. However, it was Saturday. And middle-aged men wearing black shorts, a red polo, a black hat and golf shoes are unacceptable. Unless you want me to throw the rest of my mint juleps at you.
5. This, however, is preferred over the guy with Don King hair and a big fat cigar loitering around the first tee looking like Sweden's version of a Jersey Shore dad. Of course I took a picture, but my smuggled in cell phone could only get him from behind.
We were sufficiently creeped out by the fans that we decided to go back and find the Mocha Cub, aka Tiger.
In another fortuitous moment, we were walking down the 18th as the group in front of Tiger was approaching. We held our position under a large tree that guarded the right side of the fairway and waited for El Tigre. We waited.
And waited. And waited. We're not sure what took so long between the groups. My guess is Tiger was writing the check to Elin and got stuck on all the zeros.
All of a sudden a ball ripped through the branches of the tree next to us and landed in the rough of the hole adjacent to the 18th. We had a choice to make, and we had to make it fast. Do we run over to this ball gambling that it's Tiger? Or do we hold our ground and see who hit it first?
To us there was no choice, you never pass up an opportunity to stand next to the greatest golfer of all time as he hits a recovery shot around a tree onto the green. We raced over to the ball, and waited. The 4,000 others ran over with us.
So there we are, jammed up, around this golf ball that we are all guessing is Tiger's. We wait anxiously. After 2 minutes of staring at the ball I figure maybe I should look for the golfer who hit it. That's when I turned around to see the Legend himself walking straight towards me, through the crowd.
Naturally the over excited crowd was yelling things like, "EYY Tiger!!!" and "Get in the hole!" and "Touch my face!!" (That last one was me).
We part the crowd where we stand and I physically move TJ who is frozen solid as the Mocha Cub strides towards his location. I wiped up the pee puddle TJ had left on the ground, parted the crowd and watched as Tiger walked 2 feet in front of me. That's when things began to happen.
Two middle aged women, giggling excitedly watching Tiger walk towards them. Tiger laughing at the idiot yelling "Get in the hole!", and smiling at the two ladies who are brimming with enthusiasm. I can only assume Tiger was mildly flattered because he put his hands up to give these two ladies a high five as he walked by. Naturally, I took this opportunity to put my hand in front of their's and take a high five for myself.
I felt the power surge through my body. My skin was tingling, my body temperature rose, I couldn't control my movements. It was incredible. In one swift movement I was able to contract an STD from the greatest golfer in the world just by touching his hand! I couldn't be happier.
And no. I'm not sharing it with you.
Don't believe me? Well, I clearly could not pass up the opportunity here as Tiger stood a few feet from me and sized up his shot. I slid the phone from my pocket, held it waist high, and snapped a photo of the Adulterer. Epic.
And, in case you still doubt me. I'll zoom it in.
The dude has REALLY skinny legs. It's weird. Noord thinks he's not juicing anymore because of all the attention. I think he doesn't have legs because he's a cyborg and wears pants all the time so they never bothered making legs for him.
Anyway, the shot was classic Tiger. Played it low, under the tree and around the corner, a few yards short of the green. Par for the hole.
Side note, I did stop by my local clinic on the way home. I checked out OK. I really dodged a bullet there....
More Tournament observations coming up later this week!!!