Players in the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open field tell their favorite Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines stories

Tiger Woods made Torrey Pines his personal ATM for a 14-year stretch of his PGA Tour career.

Seven of his 82 victories on Tour came at the famed southern California muni, the first in 1999 and the last in 2013. And don’t forget his 2008 U.S. Open win over Rocco Mediate.

Woods isn’t in the field for this week’s 2024 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, but a handful of the players who are competing just couldn’t help but talk about Tiger in their pre-tournament press conferences. Check out what Max Homa, Xander Schauffele and more had to say about Tiger Woods and his history at Torrey Pines.

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Max Homa

Max Homa and Tiger Woods interact during Day One of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 14, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Max Homa and Tiger Woods interact during Day One of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 14, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Homa began his press conference with a story about skipping school on a Friday to come watch Woods play the South Course. One particular hole stood out.

“One hole, 15, another bear of a hole, I remember he hit a massive drive and it looked like he hit a 9-iron and spun it back to like two feet. That’s the hole that I just remember sticks out so much to me. It’s graceful and it’s powerful, something you have to almost see up close.”

“Even when I got out here as a professional, just the vibe around him. One year there was a fog delay and we were all stuck on the putting green and he’s playing with two very popular and amazing golfers, Billy Horschel and Rickie.”

“The first day there was a thousand people on the putting green and the next day he had withdrawn that afternoon, the next day there was the same fog delay and there were like 22 people around us. It was like dang, this guy really controls the world. Just stuff like that I always thought was fascinating about him.”

Keegan Bradley

Keegan Bradley, left, talks to Tiger Woods on the 17th fairway during a practice round for the Masters.
Keegan Bradley, left, talks to Tiger Woods on the 17th fairway during a practice round for the Masters.

Woods was the source of one of Keegan Bradley’s “Welcome to the PGA Tour” moments during his rookie season at Torrey Pines.

“I was on this putting green out here and I was still in awe of everything my rookie year. Everything was just I couldn’t believe it, living out my dream. I was putting and there was so many people around the putting green and I heard this like buzz or this commotion. I didn’t know what was going on and I looked around and Tiger had walked down to the putting green. It was like a holy cow moment for me. Like I’m trying to putt but I’m still like peeking over to see, like I’ve never really seen him before. It just struck me.”

“There’s holes out here mostly because of Tiger that you remember. You remember shots that he hit in U.S. Opens and it’s just a special place.”

“Yeah, I remember the putt that he made on 13 for eagle in the back to the front, and of course all the shots on 18 in that last playoff hole. I think when you come to a golf course that you’ve never played and you kind of know it already just from watching it, like Augusta or Pebble too, I think that’s pretty special.”

“I grew up watching Tiger win here, shots he hit, incredible up-and-downs. It’s got a lot of great history.”

But has he ever tried to recreate any of those shots?

“I don’t know if we go over there and hit the shots, but we know, I know that that putt on 13 that Tiger made for eagle breaks right to left and then back left to right because of that putt. I can see that overhead blimp shot of that putt going in. So there’s memories of that.”

“I can’t say that I’ve gone out and tried to hit — certainly as a kid I was trying to be like Tiger Woods, but I’m not coming out here and doing it right now, no.”

Michael Kim

Michael Kim
Michael Kim walks down from the tee box of 11 on the Pete Dye Stadium Course during Round 3 of The American Express at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. (Photo: Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun)

A Torrey Pines High School graduate who has played the Farmers Insurance Open seven times already, when Michael Kim thinks about the property, he thinks about Tiger.

“Whenever I come back I remember mostly Tiger’s shots, some of his most famous shots out here and me trying those shots, mostly the putt on 18 when he won the U.S. Open, or to get into the playoff in the U.S. Open. Certainly I think two weeks after that event when I was able to play I think I tried a few putts from that exact spot.”

“The putt on 13 he made from the back of the green to the front on Saturday. Just mainly those memories of trying really some of the shots that he hit.”

“Also just remember him making eagle on the North Course. They switched up the nines so I’m always confused. Nine or 18, I just remember him making an eagle putt. It’s a lot of those kind of cool memories that come back whenever I come back.”

Which begs the question: Did he make the Tiger putt two weeks later?

“Well, the cup wasn’t exactly there, so I put a tee down, but I certainly — I think I put a tee down. I took a couple tries at it and I probably imitated Tiger’s fist pump and then looked around to see if anyone was watching. I probably wasn’t the only person trying that putt after that.”

Xander Schauffele

Masters Tournament
Tiger Woods and Xander Schauffele walk the 17th fairway during the second round of The Masters golf tournament. (Photo: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Network)

Remember when the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open was delayed because of inclement weather and that massive tree fell on the 18th hole? One year Schauffele climbed it to get a better look at Tiger at the 2008 U.S. Open.

“Yeah, I was on the tree on 18 that fell. I was hiked up pretty far on that tree. I remember I was going up the trunk of it as high as possible, I got pretty far above just short left of the hazard on 18 and I had pretty much a straight-on sightline of him making his putt and the whole sort of coliseum feel that 18 was during that U.S. Open.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek