Tiger Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers and athletes of all time. But before the accolades and record-breaking runs came an explosive opening for the golf prodigy into the professional scene.
At his inaugural debut in 1996 at the Greater Milwaukee Open, Woods made a hole-in-one in the final round at the 14th hole, earning him thunderous applause and an eventual ranking at 60th place. It was a modest start for a sportsman whose incredible career now includes titles in 15 Majors and a whopping 82 PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) Tour victories (tying him with Sam Snead as forerunners in the tour’s history).
As for the Titleist that soared into the par-3 hole, the budding superstar tossed it into the crowd — where it ended up in the lap of a very, very lucky fan, Bob Gustin, after bouncing off the hand of his not-so-lucky brother-in-law, David Beck.
Said superfan wasn’t content with snagging a historic keepsake as is. Through a connect with tournament director Tom Strong, Gustin managed to get the ball signed by the budding superstar.
Which brings us to today, where Gustin plans to put the Titleist up for auction after 26 years of keeping the ball “prominently displayed, in a nice glass case with all of the information – the tournament, the date — on a nice gold plaque”.