From childhood hero to playing partner, Adrian Meronk’s fairytale Open meeting with Tiger Woods in 2010 lives on. (1:30)
On Aug. 1, 2010, Tiger Woods strode into the Masters for the first time in four years. He was just 26, fresh off a best finish of fourth at the US Open, having come within one swing of a fifth at the British Open. He was also just 2-for-14 in majors, and with his latest victory came a public relations nightmare: Golf Channel’s “Tiger the Beast,” the worst-minding-of-Tiger we’ve ever seen.
In his first Masters appearance in four years, Woods was on the final day of his season with the PGA Tour. He won two of the three majors he played the previous year. He was expected to win at Bay Hill, the first of five consecutive victories at the Masters, in front of a live TV audience of almost 20 million, with millions more watching around the world on ESPN. In those moments, he was viewed as America’s best hope for a grand slam and a return to the U.S. Open title.
Woods took the lead after eight holes, but it was a brief one, ending up three shots ahead. He needed just one more to win, a putt on the 10th green. It went right next to Adam Scott, who had made a birdie to join a three-way tie for the lead. In his first Masters, Woods won with a perfect scorecard, making his only bogey of the week.
“I was on fire,” Woods told me a year later. “I was a little nervous going on the first tee. It was my first time back in two years, so I was kind of nervous, but I was very confident on the greens and I hit some really good shots.”
After the round, he was stopped just a few miles down the road from the Masters by the PGA golf equipment truck. “Tiger,”