Plenty of professional golfers can claim the honor of having played with Tiger Woods, but Kevin Na is one of very few who can say they’ve shared a mid-round laugh the way the two did on the green on Saturday at the 2019 Players Championship, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Na caught the attention of Woods on the iconic 17th hole after sinking a short putt and then very quickly darted his hand into the hole to retrieve the ball. PGA announcers noted the odd grab, joking that the ball didn’t have a chance to reach the bottom of the cup before Na scooped it up.
Woods then sunk his own putt from a similar distance and perfectly imitated Na’s post-putt grab, after which the two laughed together and hugged.
“This is so good. @TigerWoods and Kevin Na share a few laughs on the iconic island green,” tweeted the official PGA Tour Twitter account.
Social media users quickly took to their own accounts in response to the playful back-and-forth, with most celebrating the camaraderie between he two players and many citing the exchange as evidence of a more relaxed version of the historically intense Tiger Woods.
“That’s the biggest and most genuine smile and laugh I’ve ever seen out of Tiger,” one Twitter user said.
Do you think Tiger Woods is still an elite golfer? #PlayersChampionship
Like: Yes pic.twitter.com/YtnjWJJqpz
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) March 15, 2019
“Woods and Na on 17th one of the best moments I’ve ever seen in the last 30years watching golf – Just an Awesome moment,” remarked another.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 16, 2019
Prior to the amusing exchange that definitely livened up commentary around the championship event, Woods and Na were off to a challenging start in the third round. Woods had bested Na by four shots, but still finished with a mediocre 39 through the first nine holes. Improvements were made on the back nine, however, with Na picking up an eagle on the 16th hole and Tiger a birdie.
Excellent shots by both players brought them each in range for easy putts on the legendary island green, setting the stage for the comedic performance that no one expected.
By the end, Woods finished at par with 72 and Na landed at 78.
Whether their laugh-worthy exchange is indeed evidence of a more playful Tiger Woods remains to be seen, but it is worth noting that the golfer did appear just before in a Bridgestone tire commercial with a lighthearted vibe. In fact, the commercial features comedian Conor Moore doing impersonations of Woods as Woods good-naturedly played along.