This was originally posted on July 5th, 2009. Since it was at Congressional, I think it warrants front page status again. Tiger chose Romo as the other half of his pairing...in DC.
You didn't think we would just let the whole Tony Romo thing go did you? Only thing is...to properly get to the source of this one we had to pull out all the stops.
I have never before even set foot on the grounds of Congressional Country Club. People like me generally aren't allowed on the grounds of places like that. But as luck would have it, a friend was kind enough to let me use his passes for the Friday portion of the AT&T National event hosted by Tiger Woods. And these weren't just any passes, but pretty much all-access type passes from none other than AT&T. I am spoiled for all future golf tournaments.
Kevin and I pulled into our lot as Tiger was making the turn. As we waited for the shuttle bus to come get us from inside TPC Avenel (another place people like me aren't invited to) Kevin was pulled out of line to get wanded. Shocker. I was laughing out loud even before Kevin had finished asking the security guy, "Is this racial profiling?" I was joined by Kevin, and the guy wanding Kevin--who also happened to be the only black guy in sight. I am not sure what was funnier, Kevin or the nervous laughter from the all the white zillionaires we were standing around.
We made our way to the 4th hole (Tiger went off on the back on Friday). The crowds were crazy. You would have thought The Beatles were playing on the tee box. Or to put it in Kevin's terms, the Jonas Brothers. So we skipped ahead a few holes, camped out on the par 3 7th and watched about 4 groups come through before Tiger made his way there. From there, it was time to check into the AT&T chalet overlooking the 10th and 18th greens. It was air-conditioned, had a full bar, and a ton of food. And it was there we found out that our passes entitled us to attend a special sit-down Q&A session with Tiger himself. Turns out rolling with AT&T has some privileges. We had about 45 minutes to get to the clubhouse and get in position.
It was not a matter of what we would ask him, but how we would ask him. The room was packed and Tiger was only going to sit there for about 15 minutes tops. So we completely hijacked the session the second they opened the room up for questions.
Tiger: (looks at Kevin) "Yes?"
Kevin: "Clinton Portis is a 42 handicap. If we can get him down to scratch, would you consider putting him in your foursome the next Pro-Am here?"
Tiger: (smiles): "Sounds good."
Ken: "Please no Cowboys!"
Tiger's handler waited about 0.1 seconds to get the next question from the opposite side of the room. You won't be at all surprised to also learn that for the second time that day, I found myself in a very small group of amused people. Like, two people--Kevin and I.
But we made our point.
(notice the 2 red arrows on us in the pic below....click to enlarge...)
(Photos courtesy of Gary Perkins Photography)
Question: Do you make adjustments to your swing during a round?
Tiger: Absolutely. You have to be able to always have a thought process before every shot. You need to have a fluid game plan, and be able to think it out each shot.
Question: What is a normal day like for you on tour?
Tiger: Pretty normal stuff. Today I woke up at 3:50AM. [laughter]. I went to the gym and worked out for an hour. I then went to the course and prepared for my round. I played my round just now. After I'm finished up here I'll go back to the weight room and do some lifting.
(It was really amazing to hear how much work Tiger does off the course. I certainly felt as lazy as ever being on my 8th Amstel Light.)
Question: Wow. Why so much lifting?
More Tiger Q&A after the jump....
Tiger: The tour is so draining and the only way I can maintain my weight is by lifting and keeping my muscle mass up.
Question: Donald Trump just built a golf course in the area. Would you consider having the tournament there?
Tiger: We want to have it here.
Question: (from Bernard Shaw) Moving day has typically occurred on the weekend, but you seem to have been making your move on Fridays, like today. How does that change your outlook on the weekend?
Tiger: Well, if you are just looking to stay even through the weekend you will get passed. On the PGA Tour, you simply have to keep making birdies.
Question: How's the knee?
Tiger: It is actually feeling great. It took it long enough! But I am feeling really good out there.
Question: Do you have a favorite shot?
Tiger: Yeah, one that goes in!
Question: How does having kids change your approach?
Tiger: Well, out there (points to the golf course) it really doesn't...you know on any given shot. But when I've shot a bad round, when I go home and I'm still worked up, my daughter will come running into my arms and it's like, "Did I even play today?" Having a family has really put things into perspective for me.
With that, Tiger was up and out as quickly as he had arrived.
As we left the premises, we got in the back of the line for the shuttle to take us back to our lot. A woman came right up to us and said, "Can you guys please step out of line and follow me please?" Great. What now? It was like they could detect our middle class scent from a mile away or something. She took us over to a shaded tent and offered us bottled waters, saying, "You guys almost slipped through the cracks." I had no idea what she was talking about, but we suddenly found ourselves at the front of what was now an insanely long line. I turned to Kevin and said, "These purple bracelets must make them think we are with AT&T or something."
Kevin looked at his wrist and said, "Really, Einstein?"
I looked down at my wrist and saw in very clear type "AT&T" written across my wrist band. I have been wearing it for the last two days straight. It's worth a shot.