The date was April 4, six days earlier than the primary spherical of Woods’ first Masters look as an expert. As was his customized then, Woods was set to play a casual-but-competitive spherical—each spherical, beneath any circumstance, comes with a wholesome dose of competitors when Woods is concerned—at his house course, Isleworth Nation Membership in Windermere, Fla., with Mark O’Meara, a detailed pal who served as Woods’ mentor in his early years on the PGA Tour.
Woods had been an expert for lower than a yr however already had three tour wins and had risen to World No. 14. He had flashed indicators of his dominant potential however hadn’t fairly emerged as an icon, as he would per week later. O’Meara was truly the higher-ranked participant at No. 8. This, then, had the fixings of a fair match.
As a substitute, over the following two days, Woods confirmed O’Meara why he would turn out to be the best participant of his era—if not of all time.
“We teed off on the again 9,” Woods tells Golf Digest. “I parred 10. Birdied 11 and 12. Eagled 13. Birdied 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 1. I had a 3-iron into No. 3, the par 5, and I made par.”
To be truthful, he was a little bit distracted.
“As we had been taking part in the third gap, the house shuttle [Columbia] took off. And so we obtained to see over Cape Canaveral, to see the smoke because the house shuttle took off. It was a fairly cool day.”
Woods additionally had an iron into No. 7, the second par 5 on the entrance 9, and once more made par.
“And I nonetheless shot 59. So I had the chance to shoot one thing actually, actually low.”
The 13-under 59 got here on a course that measured 7,149 yards and rated 74.4. The scorecard hung within the Isleworth clubhouse because the official course document till the course underwent a major renovation in 2004. Since then, as a Golf Digest article from 2014 particulars, the scorecard has been misplaced.
The 59 stays the one time Woods has posted golf’s magic quantity. And, curiously, he’s by no means shot 60 in his life.
“I’ve shot 61 a bunch,” he says. 4 instances on tour, to be precise, most not too long ago within the second spherical of the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Nation Membership.
Did the 59 give Woods the boldness he wanted to utterly annihilate a area of the world’s finest golfers per week later?
“Properly, that—and the following day, too. We teed off on 10 once more. I birdied 10, I make a hole-in-one on 11, and Mark simply left,” Woods says with a hearty chuckle. “It was a helluva two days.”
O’Meara recounted the day-after hijinks, and the playing particulars that accompaned them, to the Motion Community’s Jason Sobel. The story begins after Woods birdied their first gap of the day.
“He will get as much as the [next] tee, he’s hitting like an 8-iron. I haven’t even gotten out of my cart, however he hits it and it’s going proper at it. It one-hops and goes into the outlet for a hole-in-one. So I’m going over and take $100 or no matter it was, I can’t bear in mind, and I put it on his cart seat. I didn’t even hit my shot. I stated, ‘That was a very nice shot. I stop. I’ll so long on the driving vary whenever you get performed.’
“He’s like, ‘The place are you going?’ I stated, ‘I stop. You shot 13 beneath yesterday, you simply jarred that, you’re 16 beneath for the final 20 holes. I’m not taking part in golf anymore with you.
“That was superior. I hate that man.”
It’s no marvel Woods didn’t panic 5 days later, when he shot 40 on his opening 9 of the Masters given his torrid stretch the week earlier than. Woods would shoot 30 on the again 9 to get into pink numbers after the opening spherical. The remaining, effectively, you realize what occurred.