PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — J.J. Spaun remembers the red sweater, the 4-foot putt and the uppercut from Tiger Woods when he won the 1997 Masters.
Spaun was 6 years old.
“He inspired me,” Spaun said. “He inspired all of us from my generation to compete and be the best.”
That explains why Spaun was nervous two weeks ago at Torrey Pines. The PGA Tour rookie who grew up in the Los Angeles area was sick when he arrived at the Farmers Insurance Open and had to rest on Monday. He played the South Course on Tuesday and because he wasn’t in the pro-am, he walked the North Course with his caddie.
When they got to the 14th hole, they noticed a huge crowd.
“I was like, ‘Oh, that’s Tiger. Let’s stay out of the way,'” Spaun said.
That would have worked except that he ran into Amy Bartlett, who works at Nike and told him to stick around so he could meet Woods.
“I said,’ No, no, no, no. I’m not meeting him.’ I was too scared. And I didn’t want to bug him,” Spaun said. “We were on…