Chip Shots

Tiger On The Phone

There are many reasons I am excited about getting to spend some time with you. One, is that many times—when at events—I would say to myself, “I wish you were with me.”

One of those moments took place several years back. An event I really enjoyed covering was Tiger Woods’ event at Sherwood Oaks not far from downtown Los Angeles. My first time there, I was standing on the putting green looking around and noticed two homes on the cliffs to my left. I was told that the nice house on the hill was owned by hall of fame broadcaster Vince Scully.

Alongside, was a much larger mansion, and when I asked who lived there, I was told that was owned by LA’s most popular porn star. I always wonder what Vince thought about his neighbor. Sorry, let me get back to Tiger.

One year, I had to miss Tiger’s tournament as I was in Southampton Hospital for some routine tests. My partner, Janis Self, a friend of Tiger’s, was there on her own. Tiger spotted Janis and wanted to know where I was.

After he learned what was going on, he asked Janis to get me on the phone. So, there I was lying in my bed when my phone rang. I said, “Hello,” and the voice on the other end said, “How you doing?” At first, I had no idea who it was, but then I realized it was Tiger calling to make sure I was all right.

After I hung up, the nurse apparently thought I was in shock as I told her that Tiger Woods had called me. The nurse quickly left the room without saying a word. In less than a minute she returned with a doctor. He said my nurse told him that I may be delusional!

Many have made that comment since then and a lot of times they were probably right!

Speaking of Tiger, for those wondering if Tiger is set to be in the field at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, the answer is, yes, he is. Surely he will be looking to play better than his previous two visits. In 1995, he was forced to withdraw in the first round after he sprained his left wrist in the high rough, and in 2004, he finished in the top twenty.

Well, as strange as it may be, I am writing this Chip Shots as I pass through Bagdad, Florida, the hometown of Bubba Watson, this weeks’ winner on TOUR.

Bubba says he has never taken a golf lesson in his life. Just watch one of his swings and you can easily see what he means, but somehow along the way Bubba is now a 10-time winner on the PGA TOUR including his two Masters victories.

Bubba is known for using every club in his bag and is also known for being a loving Dad of two adopted children—probably destiny that he was born and raised in “Bagdad.”

Bubba has now joined an exclusive group—only Lloyd Mangrum and Ben Hogan have ever won three times at Riviera. Just think, a boy from Bagdad, Florida, in that exclusive group! Almost unbelievable . . . a lot like getting a phone call from Tiger Woods.