Favorite Tiger Woods stories at Torrey Pines as shared by players in the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open field.

March 22, 2024

For a span of 14 years during his PGA Tour career, Tiger Woods utilized Torrey Pines as if it were his own personal cash dispenser.

He clinched seven out of his 82 triumphant wins on Tour at the prestigious southern California municipal course, commencing with his first in 1999 and culminating with his final victory in 2013. Let us also remember a significant milestone when he emerged victorious over Rocco Mediate at the U.S. Open of 2008.

Although Woods is not participating in this week’s 2024 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, several players who are taking part couldn’t resist discussing Tiger during their pre-tournament press conferences. See what Max Homa, Xander Schauffele and others had to say about Tiger Woods and his past performances at Torrey Pines.

Starting his press conference, Homa recounted how he had skipped school on a Friday to witness Woods in action at the South Course. Among all the holes, one stood out for him.

“I recall a particular hole, the first being relatively easy while the fifteenth was challenging. On this daunting one, he took an exceptional swing and sent his ball far across; it seemed like he used only a 9-iron to hit it back to where it landed just two feet away from us. This is that moment when I can say my mind has retained vividly – elegant yet mighty, demanding your near presence as you observe.”

“Despite being a professional golfer, I still felt the aura around him. Once during a fog delay when everyone was stranded on the putting green, he played alongside two renowned golfers – Billy Horschel and Rickie.”

The putting green was packed with a thousand people on the first day, but by afternoon of the next day, he had withdrawn. The following day brought another fog delay and this time there were only 22 individuals around us. It was striking to realize how much influence he wielded over such circumstances. Such observations have always intrigued me about him.

During his rookie season at Torrey Pines, Woods provided Keegan Bradley with one of his “Welcome to the PGA Tour” experiences.

During my rookie year, while I was on the putting green, everything left me in complete awe. My dream had come true and it was difficult to believe. As I putt with a large group around us, suddenly there arose a buzz or commotion which caught my attention.

Not understanding what it could be about, upon looking up from my game of golfing next thing you know Tiger appeared walking down towards our spot! For me at that moment seeing him felt surreal like an out-of-body experience as if trying to look away but couldn’t help being mesmerized by his presence still peeking over at times capturing every little detail since till then he’d been just some distant superstar whom yet only heard stories about never seen before.”

“This is mainly due to Tiger’s presence that you recall the holes out here. The shots he made in U.S. Opens are unforgettable, making it a truly exceptional place.”

“I recall his remarkable eagle putt on the 13th hole, from back to front. And naturally, I can’t forget all of the shots he made during that intense playoff round on the 18th hole. It’s a unique feeling when you arrive at a new golf course and already feel familiar with it just by observing its play through television or otherwise – similar to how one might experience Augusta or Pebble Beach.”

Growing up, I witnessed Tiger’s victories here and the remarkable shots he made. The course has an extensive and impressive legacy that holds significant meaning to me.

Has he attempted to replicate any of those shots?

“I cannot say for sure if we’ll be successful in hitting the shots over there, but I undoubtedly remember Tiger’s putt on hole 13 that broke from right to left and then back left to right. The overhead blimp shot of that remarkable putt is etched in my memory.”

As a child, I aspired to play like Tiger Woods but currently, I am not attempting or practicing hitting on the course.