After experiencing plenty of his career milestones firsthand, David Feherty will get to join Tiger Woods for yet another jacket ceremony.
The longtime golf announcer will host the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony next month, the organization announced on Tuesday, and help officially induct Woods, Susie Maxwell Berning, Tim Finchem and Marion Hollins in with a gold jacket.
The ceremony, which will take place on March 9 on the eve of The Players Championship, is like a “little cherry on the top” of his lengthy broadcasting career.
“It’s a really cool thing for me to get to do,” Feherty told Yahoo Sports. “It’s been such an incredible journey the last 25 years of being with him on the golf course, on and off. It’s just an amazing privilege to have been around in the Tiger Woods era.”
Feherty has been with Woods since the beginning, as he jumped into broadcasting right when Woods first turned pro in 1996. He’s worked with both CBS Sports and the Golf Channel ever since, and frequently walked alongside Woods’ group during tournaments.
Even from the beginning, Feherty said, Woods was making him look foolish on air.
“It was just at thrill, but at the same time he made me feel stupid so many times because he did things you weren’t meant to be able to do,” Feherty said. “I played at the highest level and played with all the great players of my generation. I knew what any given player could do from any given situation … A couple of times I just looked like a f***ing idiot.”
Woods’ induction into the Hall of Fame shouldn’t surprise anybody. The 82-time Tour winner has 15 major championships to his name, and is perhaps the best golfer ever to compete at that level.
While the induction is coming sooner than many expected — the Hall of Fame recently lowered its age requirement from 50 to 45, which allowed the 45-year-old Woods to get in now — it was going to happen eventually. Still, Feherty said next month’s moment should rank among the best for Woods in his career.
“Tiger was a foregone conclusion,” he said. “I still think it means a great deal to him. He still loves to slip on a jacket.”
‘St. Andrews this year is right up his alley’
Woods has yet to return to the Tour after his car crash in Southern California last year, which almost cost him his right leg.
Woods said at the Genesis Invitational last week that he plans to play again at some point, but he’s not sure where — and he definitely won’t do so on a full-time basis. He’s still struggling to walk, and doing that for a full competition week just isn’t physically possible yet.
While Woods said he’s been frustrated by his recovery pace, and doesn't have a timeline for any return, Feherty thinks that Woods will be able to get back at some point this summer.
The British Open, he said, seems to play right into Woods’ hand.
“I see him winning again on Tour, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he gets there in a major. St. Andrews this year is right up his alley,” Feherty said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he plays the Masters … he’ll be working away on his rehab and his game. He looked great at the [PNC Championship], and I know Augusta is a tough walk, but he’s in unbelievable shape.”
Feherty on Saudi league: ‘You can’t blame them for considering it’
After a wild week full of developments on the Saudi-backed golf league, it’s unclear how much of a future the Greg Norman-backed venture actually has.
Nearly everyone, save for Phil Mickelson, has backed away from it. There aren’t any concrete plans. Nobody seems to know, at least publicly, where the league stands.
While he knows it’s certainly a possibility, Feherty said he doesn’t know how far such a venture can actually get. He does, though, see one positive thing coming out of it.
“I don’t know really how serious they are about it, but having seen them operate before in Dubai and having played out there as well, it wouldn’t surprise me if it comes to pass,” Feherty said.
“The one good thing about it is then there’s competition. It forces whoever is on the other side of that contest to do better, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the PGA Tour increase their prize money. It might turn out to be a good thing, but it’s definitely a problem for the PGA Tour at the moment.”
Though the league now appears to be dead in the water, Faherty understands why it would be at least a little bit appealing to younger players on Tour.
It’s reportedly offering players more money for fewer events without any cuts, after all.
“These kids deserve everything they get,” Feherty said. “It’s so hard to make a living playing golf, there’s no guarantee. You take your own money and you try to turn it into more. They’re independent contractors. If somebody shows up with a lot of money with somewhere else to play, you can’t blame them for considering it.”
If he were still playing and more money was available, Feherty would consider it too.
“I would be there in a heartbeat,” he said. “Not all the Irish are stupid.”