Peyton Manning roasts PGA Tour players’ interviews: ‘They don’t believe they hit a bad shot’

May 29, 2019

DUBLIN, Ohio — Peyton Manning made it clear from the outset Wednesday morning at Muirfield Village: he was having a blast. For the second consecutive year, the retired NFL star got to play with Tiger Woods in the Memorial Pro-Am, teeing off at 7 a.m. in front of a warm Ohio crowd.

Manning, who was in the group with Woods and a pair of Nationwide executives, chatted some with Woods and far more with spectators during their Wednesday outing. He also survived the difficult golf course, which boasts brutal rough and greens rolling 13.5 on the stimp. Afterwards, he had no problem poking fun at his own game.

“I hit some bad shots today — I didn’t hit anybody, which was an improvement from last year,” he said. “I did birdie 18, I’m glad you saw that, so that’s all you really need to know. And I hit a good drive on 1. What happened between 1 and [18], it’s really not important.”

Manning saved his best roasts for PGA Tour players, though, mimicking their press conference styles in classic Peyton deadpan.

“Those guys are so positive, I’m envious. I mean, I like it. They don’t believe they hit a bad shot. I always wanted to do that,” he said, then broke into his Tour player voice. ‘I got every handoff… couple balls went right to ‘em, but I’m excited about my game for next week!'”

Beyond the fun, Manning made it clear he was thrilled to be there. He signed so many autographs and took so many photos that he frequently rushed through his actual shots, and gamely fielded request after request from swarms of fans. “To go behind the ropes and to play with this guy on this course, and anybody that loves golf, it’s a real thrill. Tiger couldn’t have been a better host to me,” he said.

Woods, like Manning, was part joking, part genuine in his post-round remarks. One reporter asked: Did he learn anything from Manning?

“No, he just gave me crap the entire time, which is par for the course—that’s what we do. We give each other pretty good needles,” Woods said, before shifting to a more earnest tone. “As I said, to walk around with greatness, I get a chance to know for all these years, I mean, what he’s gone through and changed and adapted to.

“That’s what we talked about for a number of years, because we didn’t quite have what we used to have.”

Woods tees off at 8:26 a.m. on Thursday in the Memorial’s first round.