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‘I Hate the Guy’: Decades Later, Tiger Woods Continues to Haunt His Best Friend As Mark O’Meara Made a Painful Confession in 2021

Published 05/31/2023, 2:30 PM EDT

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via Reuters

Golf is perhaps the only game where the lower you score, the higher your chances are of winning. While on the course, every player has one main aim: to make their ball reach the hole within a few shots. The elite, however, takes that to a whole new level, with a goal so ambitious that even seasoned golfers find it hard to achieve. This achievement is none other than golfers aiming for a score of 60 or lower on a regular par 72 course!

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Of course, it goes without saying that only the best of the best go on to accomplish this, and perhaps not even then! In fact, golf legend Tiger Woods himself has never achieved this on the PGA Tour. However, soon after turning pro, he once shot a career low of 59, with just his dear friend and golfer friend Mark O’Meara to witness it, forcing feelings of hatred (but not really) for him!

Tiger Woods joined the under-60 cohort in 1997


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Being a friend and a mentor to one of the biggest golfers ever is a huge responsibility that naturally has its perks. And pro golfer Mark O’Meara witnessed it firsthand when he saw Tiger Woods score the lowest record of 59. Woods made this rare achievement back in 1997, a year after turning pro. It was in his early days when he was just 22, but he had still made a name for himself with his exceptional performances.

Practicing at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club, Woods was paired up with his friend Mark O’Meara. Woods delivered some remarkable eagles, birdies, and pars one after another at many holes. And with ease, he reached home at 59. The next day too, he put out a stupendous performance, and midway through, O’Meara acted out!


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Recalling the special day in his mind, Meara later said in an interview in 2021, “He gets up to the [11th] tee; he’s hitting like an 8-iron. I haven’t even gotten out of my cart, but he hits it, and it’s going right at it. It one-hops and goes into the hole for [an ace].”

“So I go over and take $100 or whatever it was—I can’t remember—and I put it on his cart seat. I didn’t even hit my shot; I said, ‘That was a really nice shot”. O’Meara explained that Woods’ brilliant shot was too much for him to handle, and he left the course! “I quit. I’ll see you later on the driving range when you get done. That was awesome. I hate that guy,” he said jokingly about his old pal.

Just days later, fueled by that blistering career low, Woods went on to win his first major at Augusta National. But perhaps he remembers more about the 59 and the day that followed than about his Masters win. Well, he certainly remembers his older friend leaving!


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How did Woods respond to Mark O’Meara abandoning him on the course?

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The incident is from over 25 years ago. However, neither of the two stars has forgotten the incident. Woods, for it was his career’s lowest ever score, and O’Meara, for the same reason as well as how the golf legend’s stunning shots had forced him to leave the course early. The 15-time major winner, however, also quite vividly and hilariously recalls Mark leaving.

And as per a recent Golf Digest video that came to light, he lets on a laugh as he recalled the series of shots he made over two days, “I buried 10, made a hole-in-one on 11, and then Mark left (laughs). So, it was a h*ll of two days end.”  


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That was the only time that Woods ever scored an outstanding 59. And although the golf legend may be bothered by not ever replicating that feat during his legendary time on the Tour, the accomplishment itself, along with the circumstances surrounding it, and finally, O’Meara’s hilarious exit, undoubtedly makes the achievement all the more special.

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Shafaque Taha

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Shafaque Taha is a fresh writer at EssentiallySports. She has been a golf enthusiast all her life and Tiger Woods has been her window into the sport and its legacy. Shafaque regards his iconic 2019 Masters win as her greatest inspiration in life.

Edited By: Manaal Siddiqui