Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tiger Sightings Are Easier Than Tiger Signings

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tiger Sightings Are Easier Than Tiger Signings

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union sports columnist

Say please.

That's the first piece of advice for getting an autograph from Tiger Woods. The second, judging from the scene after yesterday's practice round, would be to get your kid a membership at a gym. Have him or her bulk up. Watch NBA tape. Learn how to post up.

Woods signed autographs as he worked his way from the 18th green to the clubhouse, grabbing items thrust over the rope. Always walking. He learned that lesson a few years ago. Never stop walking.

As he passed, the fans surged closer. Bobby Miller, 66, was in the front row with his 10-year-old grandson, Christian.

"The guards kept saying, 'Get back, get back,' " he said. "But people kept pushing us forward. I thought we were going to get knocked over."

They got lucky. Not only did they stay on their feet, but Tiger grabbed the object Miller held out -- a tan cap with the words "Atlantic Marine" and "Alabama Shipyard" on the front -- scribbled his signature on the bill and handed it back.

Tiger kept walking and signing, going past one woman holding up her young son.

"Mr. Tiger!" the boy shouted, holding out a golf ball. "Mr. Tiger!"

Woods came back to the boy.

"I won't sign balls," he said, "but you can have my glove."

He reached into a rear pants pocket, pulled out his glove, handed it to the boy and resumed the walk. A few autographs later, he was gone. And there was a groan.

"That's it?" said Jerry Thomas, 32, of Orlando.

Yes, that's it. Yes, it's tough to get a Tiger autograph. Yes, it would be nice to see him stop and sign more. But it's a two-way street. It also would be nice to see fans give him reason to believe that stopping wouldn't produce a The-Who-Meets-Pinehurst scene, and that this morning's autograph will not be this afternoon's eBay item. …

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