All was going well in Tiger Woods on Friday at The Barclays. He shot two-under 34 on his first nine (he started on No. 10). And then the second hole (his 11th) happened. Some photographer, who obviously had never covered golf before, started snapping at an inopportune time.
“The photographer took a photo on my downswing,” Woods said after his round. “Luckily I flinched. I went back on it and threw the club down at the same time to hopefully make contact. Luckily I didn’t fat it or blade it, but he timed it well.”
His chip rolled 24 feet past the hole. And then Tiger turned around and confronted the oblivious photographer, who was trying to scamper away through the gallery. “Come on!” he said. Stevie Williams, Tiger’s caddie, who is known to act boorishly in these situations (kicking cameras, etc.), showed restraint and just shot a nasty look. The Jersey gallery had Tiger’s back, though, yelling, “Get him out of here!”
“F— off,” Tiger muttered under his breath as he walked away.
Tiger missed the putt to make his first bogey of the day. And it appeared to disrupt his flow and he never regained it that afternoon, posting three more bogeys to shoot two-over 73.
The fifth hole was rather eventful. Let’s see, I’m not really sure how to describe what happened because you really just had to be there, but I’ll give it a go. Tiger had laid up on the drivable par-4 and knocked a dart on his approach. The drunks were out in full force by this point and one fan hollered, “I guess that’s why you didn’t go for the green!”
Just seconds after, I was walking up the hill when a 50-ish man wearing an untucked blue polo pushed his beer belly over the ropes toward me and hissed (or something of the sort, it was strange) at me. I gave him a creeped-out look, along with the other reporters walking with me. “What was that?” one asked.
“Stephanie Wei!” someone in the gallery called out. I looked over and the guy said, “I follow you on Twitter.” I smiled and asked him what his Twitter handle was, but he wasn’t sure. I love those random, kind of awkward moments. (If you’re reading this, thanks for saying hi!)
Right when I thought things couldn’t get any stranger, Tiger missed a 1 1/2 footer for par. I was jotting something down when gasps of horror startled me and I looked up to see a disgusted and humiliated Tiger walk around to mark his bogey putt.
Just another day trailing Tiger.