Was this generous Tiger Woods gesture one of the best Masters moments?
Really? Andy Ogletree asked.
Tiger Woods, owner of 15 major championships, five green jackets and an entire brand, was excited to play with Andy Ogletree, 2019 U.S. Amateur champ, first-time Masters participant and hopeful one-day-soon PGA Tour pro?
Really, Tiger Woods said.
Around 11 a.m. local time, on the 10th tee at Augusta National Golf Club, Woods walked over to his star-struck playing partner.
“Before I teed off, he kind of came up and embraced me and said, ‘Let’s go do this thing,’’’ Ogletree said Sunday. “I think that’s one thing I’ll never forget. I was pretty nervous on the 1st hole. I didn’t really know what I was going to say to him. He just came up, smiling, laughing, whatever, and that just kind of settled me down.”
A few minutes later, while also playing with last year’s Open Championship winner, Shane Lowry, Ogletree hit a drive 308 yards down the left side of the 495-yard par-4. He’d bogey that hole, double-bogey the 12th and bogey the 13th – a-four-over-through-four-holes-start – then played the rest of his first two rounds at five under to make the cut and eventually finish as the Masters low amateur.
The thought of playing with Woods had made him nervous. The actual playing with Woods took it away. Ogletree had watched Tiger Woods on TV, he had watched the Masters on TV, and he had watched Tiger Woods at the Masters on TV. And yet, here Woods was, wanting to know what it was like spending Wednesday night in the Crow’s Nest at Augusta National, a privilege given to just the amateurs. Ogletree would play with Woods on Thursday, on Friday until play was suspended due to darkness, and on Saturday, when their second round resumed.
“Yeah, I mean, there was definitely some pressure playing with Tiger,” Ogletree said Saturday. “Every shot that you hit is watched all over the world. I mean, I’m not going to shy away from that. That’s how it is, but there was a lot more people out there this morning. Not so much this afternoon, but it was still super comfortable.”
Educational, too. As the recent Georgia Tech graduate looks to leap to the pros, he saw Woods shoot rounds of four-under 68 and one-under 71. At Augusta National.
“He’s just very intense,” Ogletree said Thursday. “He takes every shot very seriously and hits every shot with a lot of integrity. I think he just has a focus level that’s unmatched out here, I think. No shot goes unthought about. Every shot has a plan, and he executed really well, bogey free, I think. Super good to watch, see how he kind of hits the draws in some of the greens and fades into the others.
“Sometimes there was some wind up there, and he’d kind of hold against it. Something you can’t really see on TV, but I could kind of tell what he was trying to do, and he seemed to be in control of his golf ball.”