Woods Awards SUV to Tiger Trap Winner


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bill Stapleton was one swing and 140 yards from winning a $39,000 Buick Rainier SUV. All he had to do was get the ball on the green, preferably as close as possible.
A very uneasy 9-iron.
Uneasy because there were bunkers to the right, water to the left, hundreds in the gallery and one Tiger Woods talking smack in his ear.
No pressure, Woods mocked the 30-year-old telecommunications project manager from Locust Grove, Ga.
Stapleton had already tried once and failed. His first swing hooked off to the left, well short of the putting surface.
And he wasnt alone in his shortcoming.
Stapleton was one of four people competing in the Tiger Trap.
Stapleton, Ben Moore, Susan Kay Smith and Tom Baker entered the Buick sponsored event and were chosen at random to challenge in a closest-to-the-pin contest on the 18th hole of the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Grande Lankes Orlando.
The original Tiger Trap was a highly successful ad campaign where Woods ambushed unsuspecting golfers and gave them a chance to take one shot, and the closest to the pin (on the green, of course) would win a new Rainier.
This time, however, the four contestants ' chosen from over 250,000 entrants ' had three weeks to think about and prepare for their mission.
Woods went first, just to show the quartet how easy it was. His first attempt flew the green; his second rolled over.
Thats too hard for me, he joked.
Each of the four contestants also missed on their first attempts and were awarded a mulligan.
Baker, a 39-year-old recruiting director in Alpharetta, Ga., pushed his second shot low and right. Stapleton went next and promptly stuck his effort to 443 left of the flag, which was positioned in the middle of the kidney bean-shaped green.
Smith, a 24-year-old copy editor in Bridgewater, N.J., who had never before played golf until she won this opportunity, topped her shot for the second straight time.
Moore, a 36-year-old accountant from Madison, Ala., was the last man to try and put his ball inside of Stapletons. He got it airborne, but it landed in the water.
Im still shaking, Stapleton said as he and his wife received the keys to the Rainier from Woods.
This week has been a dream come true, said Stapleton, who like all four contestants received five-day/four-night trips for two to Orlando and theme park passes. Just meeting Tiger was a dream come true. And now this.
Woods, ever the corporate spokesman, had some parting words for Stapleton.
The sound systems kickin, he said.