Devil Ball Golf

The day Tiger Woods met Nelson Mandela

Jay Hart
Devil Ball Golf

View photo

.

Tiger Woods met Nelson Mandela at his home in 1998. (Getty Images)

GULLANE, Scotland – What does a Masters win at age 21 get you? For Tiger Woods, it made for a private lunch with Nelson Mandela.

On the eve of Mandela's 95th birthday, Woods described the first time he met the former South African president back in 1998.

"It still gives me chills to this day," Woods explained. "A gentleman asked us to go into this side room over here and [said] 'President Mandela will join you in a bit.'

"And we walked in the room and my dad I were just looking around. And I said, 'Dad, do you feel it?' And he says, 'Yeah, it feels different in this room.' And it was just like a different energy in the room. We just looked at each other and just shrugged our shoulders.

"Maybe, I'm guessing 30 seconds later, I heard some movement behind me and it was President Mandela folding up the paper. And it was pretty amazing. The energy that he has, that he exudes, is unlike any person I've ever met. … That's an experience that I will never, ever forget."

Mandela, who turns 95 on Thursday, remains in a South African hospital where he's been for five weeks battling a lung infection. He is reportedly in critical but stable condition.

Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
Tiger Woods' major obstacle: He's good, but no longer dominant
Tiger Woods says elbow feels fine after Muirfield practice round
Look out for Phil Mickelson at Muirfield

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Golf
View Comments