Before Tiger Woods teed off in Thursday’s opening round at the Masters, he walked over to the bleachers for an exchange with a man who was sitting with Woods’s girlfriend, Erica Herman. Woods chatted briefly with the man and handed him a signed glove. It’s rare for Woods to divert from his pre-round routine, but this was for a good reason.
Yahoo Sports reports that the man, Shane Caldwell, is a longtime fan of both golf and Woods. He’s also battling stage four lung cancer. “He’s a hardcore fighter,” stepdaughter Jordan Miller said. “He does not let anything get him down.” Thanks to tickets acquired by family friends, Caldwell checked a major item off his bucket list: attending the Masters. But Miller wanted the experience to be even more memorable.
She began a campaign on social media to try to get Woods’s attention. A Facebook post didn’t garner much, but when she turned to Twitter her posts started gaining traction. Miller’s strategy was partly volume-based; she fired out more than 500 tweets, tagging anyone from Woods himself to the PGA Tour to GOLF.com in efforts to reach the 14-time major champion. Eventually, they reached Herman.
“By the end I think they were hearing about it from multiple different angles,” Miller told Yahoo. “But it was Erica that made it really happen.”
Miller was told to make sure Caldwell would be on the driving range Thursday morning between 9:10 and 9:15, although he still didn’t know the meeting was on. But Woods came over to shake Caldwell’s hand and give him the glove, which was signed with a message: “Stay strong!! Tiger Woods.”