Tiger Woods may be more outwardly cheery on the course than he’s ever been, but the ultra-focused 14-time major winner still tends to be all business between the ropes.
Enter Tiger Woods superfan Thomas Wesling, who during the third round of the Players Championship managed to draw a grin from Woods in the most unlikely fashion: by wearing a shirt emblazoned with a picture of Woods’ mugshot from his 2017 DUI arrest.
Wesling told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Curt Hogg that he strategically positioned himself along the walkway between the 17th green and 18th tee box at TPC Sawgrass, knowing that Woods would pass him by. As Tiger came through, he noticed Wesling’s shirt to the left of the walkway and cracked a smile. Video of the moment, which Wesling posted to his Twitter feed, has drawn more than 1 million views.
Wesling, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse who was in Florida for spring break, told the Sentinel that the shirt was the best $20 he has ever spent.
“I’m a huge Tiger fan, I love Tiger, so thinking about it I was like, ‘I need to wear it,'” he said. “I knew if I could get any reaction out of it from him, it’d be priceless.
“I thought if he saw it he might get mad and have someone make me take it off. I thought that was possible or that he might think it was funny. If I could get a smirk out of it, that would be perfect.”
Wesling said the shirt also caught the attention of other players, including Jason Dufner, who had his caddie alert Tiger’s caddie, Joe LaCava, that Wesling was stationed near the 18th tee.
Credit Woods for taking the curious tribute in stride. Wesling, meanwhile, says his five minutes of viral fame have left his head spinning.
“It’s been pretty ridiculous,” he told the Sentinel. “I’ve had to turn notifications off, shut my phone off because it’s killing my battery.”
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