Tiger Woods is an intimidating golfer; he always has been. Now imagine how you’d feel if your basketball squad had recently crushed his alma mater?
That’s what long-time Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo ran into when he met Woods on the tee box during a Wednesday pro-am at the Buick Open in July 2005.
Back in December 2014, Izzo’s Spartans downed Woods’ Stanford Cardinal 78-53. Izzo had briefly met Woods before, but now he was approaching him on the tee box to say hello again.
“He said, ‘Coach, you beat my Cards this year,” said Izzo, who was this week’s guest on GOLF’s Subpar Podcast. “I didn’t know what he meant at first and then I figured it out and I said, ‘Well, yeah, yeah.’ I said it real nice. He said, ‘I plan on taking it out on you on the course.’”
Izzo said Woods read some putts for him during the round and that “he was absolutely awesome.” Izzo was a little concerned about the gallery, though. He admitted he doesn’t get to play much golf, especially since he spends time away from the court recruiting.
“When I played with Tiger, they were lining up at 7 o’clock and I said, ‘Are you people stupid? Do you know that I’m going to shank it one way and kill you or shank it the other way?’” Izzo said. “But I hit it so soft if I would have shanked it it wouldn’t have hurt them.”
Woods, however, had only good things to say about Izzo’s game.
“Tom can play. It’s just that he’s been doing his job and trying to get State with a good team for you guys,” Woods told the media afterward. “He’s been on the road recruiting, working really hard and hasn’t got a chance to play as much, but you can tell he knows how to play. He knows how to hit golf shots. Given some time when he can play, you can see that he can post some pretty good numbers.”
You can listen to Izzo’s complete Subpar Podcast below, in which he discusses Michigan State players, including Draymond Green, fellow college coaches on the golf course and more.