‘I was so embarrassed’: Mito Pereira has an amusing story about the first time he saw Tiger Woods in person

Like most young pros, 27-year-old Chilean Mito Pereira — who recently grabbed headlines as the leader of the PGA Championship for 71 holes before a double-bogey on the 18th dropped him into T3 — grew up idolizing Tiger Woods.

Even though he was too young to appreciate Woods’ most dominant stretches of golf, Pereira says he had Woods’ poster on his wall at home, and loved Woods’ swing and famous club twirls.

So it was quite something when Pereira had the chance to tee it up in the same tournament as Woods — even if his first time seeing Woods in person wasn’t exactly how he imagined it would be.

Mito Pereira at the PGA Championship.
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On this week’s episode of Off Course with Claude Harmon, Pereira shared the amusing story.

“I played in Pebble Beach for the [2019] U.S. Open,” Pereira began. “I just qualified, I was playing the Latin[oamerica] Tour. I got to the locker room. Normal, just checked my locker. And I wanted to stretch. So, at the registration they told me there’s some guys in the locker room who can help you stretch.

“There’s some curtains,” he continued. “I just walk in there, open. There’s Tiger without his shirt. Four guys around him, with music. They look at me like this. [Long pause]. Bye!

“I was so embarrassed to be in there,” he concluded, as Harmon cracked up.

For more from Pereira, including what it was about golf that appealed to him as a kid, and what prompted him to quit the game for two years when he was a teenager, check out the full interview below.


Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.