It’s a moment most golf fans can only ever dream of: a sit down, one-on-one interview with Tiger Woods. And in 2018, it became reality for Barstool Sports’ Sam “Riggs” Bozoian.
On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, the Barstool personality and “Foreplay” podcast host shares the story of his first face-to-face encounter with Tiger — a day he says he’ll never forget.
“Oh my gosh, I remember every second of it,” Riggs said. “It was as high as it could possibly be. I’m a person that speaks for a living and I was concerned I wasn’t going to be able to talk.”
It all started in Vegas on Thanksgiving weekend 2018 — the site of The Match 1: Tiger vs. Phil. In the lead-up to the event, Tiger’s management team, Excel Sports, reached out to Riggs with a secretive opportunity.
“My buddy Kevin Hopkins, who works for [Woods’ agent Mark] Steinberg, had been like ‘come out to Vegas, give up your Thanksgiving, cover The Match, we’re going to make it worth your while.”
Once Riggs made it to Vegas, Hopkins broke the news. Excel hoped to set up a sit down interview with Riggs’ hero, Tiger Woods, in The Match’s aftermath. So long as things weren’t too crazy down the stretch, Barstool would be able to grab time with Woods once the event ended.
Then, chaos broke out. Tiger and Phil’s match went into extra holes, eventually concluding in dramatic fashion with a Mickelson victory under the lights. The Barstool contingent left Shadow Creek late that night without an interview, but not for long.
“So then I get a text at like 11 p.m., that’s like ‘hey, meet me at Shadow Creek in the morning cause there’s a pro-am going on at Shadow Creek, and I kind of have a plan.'” Riggs remembered. “He’s like, ‘here’s my plan: Tiger and Phil are going to be in the locker room, and Tiger is always the last one out of the room. Tiger will hang back, and when he hangs back, I’ll grab Tiger and ask him if he wants to do an interview.’ I’m like, ‘that’s your plan?’ and he’s like ‘yup.'”
The next morning, Riggs returned to the golf course, where he was quickly ushered into the men’s locker room with Tiger and Phil.
“After 20 minutes, the whole room clears out, and we’re the only people in the Shadow Creek locker room,” Riggs said. “It’s a big locker room, so Tiger can clearly just sense that there’s another human in the room, and it’s me. I’m like, ‘I can’t believe we’re here doing this.’
I don’t have anything, I don’t have a computer, I don’t have a notepad, so it’s all in my head,” Riggs said. “Tiger comes walking right over with Joey [LaCava], and I introduce myself. I blacked out, I don’t even know what I said. And Kevin’s like, ‘alright, you want me to film it?'”
The shock hadn’t worn off for Riggs when LaCava stepped in with some words of advice.
“Then Joey LaCava, whose son is a huge Barstool fan, and Joey whenever he comes in for like Ranger games I always get a beer with him, popped his head in,” he said. “Joey said, ‘you got this Riggs, go get ’em.’ And that just psyched me up.”
A few seconds later, the camera turned on, and Riggs lived out his childhood dream — even earning a laugh from his interview subject.
“I had on my shirt, one of the shirts we sold underneath that said ‘The GOAT’ on it that had Tiger with the backwards hat and the sunglasses,” he said. “Tiger saw it and looked at it and said, ‘that’s funny as s—.’ It couldn’t have gone any better.”
To hear the rest of Riggs’ Subpar interview, check out the video at the top of the article.