DUBLIN, Ohio – One man’s dream is sometimes another man’s nightmare.
Zac Blair had envisioned playing a PGA Tour round with Tiger Woods his entire life – he even lists Woods, along with his father and New England quarterback Tom Brady, as his dream foursome. He never envisioned beating the 14-time major champion by 15 strokes, however.
The 24-year-old Tour rookie set out in the day’s third group filled with nervous excitement. “I was a little nervous. I just tried to stay out of his way,” said Blair, who began the 2014 season playing PGA Tour Latinoamerica and needed a record week at the Web.com Tour Championship last fall to earn his Tour card.
When the twosome finished their rounds at the Memorial, it was Woods who was likely trying to stay clear of Blair.
Woods, who has struggled with his driving all week, made the turn in 42 strokes and was even worse on his closing nine, hitting four balls in the water on Saturday and closing with a quadruple bogey-8 at the last for an 85, his worst score on Tour.
Blair’s round was not nearly as adventurous, or historic, with four birdies and a double bogey at the par-3 16th hole for a 2-under 70.
“It was obviously still great to play with him. He's one of the best players to ever play,” Blair said. “I enjoyed playing well. It would have been nice to see him play a little bit better, but he's working through some things. He'll get back playing good.”
Blair said he met Woods before, most recently at the 2000 PGA Championship – which his father, James, played – when the then-9-year-old asked for an autograph.
James Blair walked with his son on Saturday at Muirfield Village, which means the younger Blair was missing just one member of his dream foursome (Brady). Well, Brady and the version of Tiger Woods who won the ’00 PGA for his third of four consecutive major victories.