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(58,725 posts)
Sun Apr 14, 2024, 07:30 PM Apr 2024

He idolized Tiger Woods as a kid. On Masters Sunday, he played with him

Hat tip: I saw him on TV at the tail end of the Masters a few minutes before I posted.

He idolized Tiger Woods as a kid. On Masters Sunday, he played with him


Neal Shipley and Tiger Woods played together in the final round of the 2024 Masters.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — When the U.S. Open visited Oakmont Country Club, near Pittsburgh, in 2007, Neal Shipley Sr. took his 6-year-old son Neal Jr., to a practice round. Little Neal dressed head to toe in Tiger Woods gear — red shirt, Nike hat, the whole deal — and kept an eye on his favorite player from a perch on Neal Sr.’s shoulders. “We were right up against the ropes the whole time,” the elder Shipley told me Sunday. “I said, ‘Put your hand out maybe Tiger will slap you a high five. But for 18 holes, Tiger was so laser-focused. He didn’t touch him. Didn’t acknowledge this little kid dressed like him. So to think that we’re here now, it’s really incredible.”

Here was a warm, idyllic Masters Sunday at Augusta National, where 18 years after watching Woods tune up for one major, little Neal, now 22 and not so little, found himself paired with one of his golfing idols in the final round of another major. This game is good like that. There’s connective tissue everywhere you look. And sometimes that connectivity culminates in, well, pick your descriptor — Feel-good? Fairytale? Fantasyland? — moments like we had Sunday: a college kid in his first Masters lucking into a Sunday tee time with T. Woods.

Shipley, a fifth-year senior at Ohio State who spent most of his college career at James Madison University, punched his ticket to this 88th Masters by finishing runner-up at the U.S. Amateur, at Cherry Hills, near Denver, last summer. In the 36-hole final, Shipley lost to Nick Dunlap, who would go on, in January, to become the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event since Phil Mickelson 1991.

Dunlap dispatched Shipley, 4 and 3, in the championship match, but Shipley, with his flowing locks and high energy, was the crowd favorite. Perhaps you saw highlights of him from the week — high-fiving, chest-bumping and generally charging up the galleries. That’s Shipley. He has never been afraid to express himself. “We’re from Western Pennsylvania; it’s on our DNA,” his father said Sunday from left of the 5th fairway. “That’s where Arnie is from, and he had that everyman quality, too. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

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He idolized Tiger Woods as a kid. On Masters Sunday, he played with him (Original Post) mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2024 OP
Poor Tiger PJMcK Apr 2024 #1


(22,224 posts)
1. Poor Tiger
Sun Apr 14, 2024, 08:46 PM
Apr 2024

He made the cut so he could play the weekend.

But he finished dead last.

Is his career finished?

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