CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Joel Dahmen said recently that playing with Tiger Woods last year during the third round of the Quicken Loans National was “like a dream come true” and that experiencing the ovation Woods received as he stepped onto the first tee “was the coolest moment. It was crazy.”
Dahmen, 31, in his third year on the PGA Tour, was bullish on Woods’ return to competitive golf, and so it seemed obvious he’d be hunkered in front of the television during the final round of the Masters a few weeks ago when Woods prevailed for his 15th major title.
Uh, not quite.
“I was the only idiot in the world who didn’t watch it,” Dahmen said at the Wells Fargo Championship, where he is in the hunt headed into the weekend.
Dahmen explained that he has his own tournament he plays in every Masters weekend at home in Scottsdale, Arizona, that is called the Hack Masters. Not only is there a hefty buy-in for the participants, but there is a real Masters element to the tournament: each team draws two players who made the cut in the tournament at Augusta National, with their scores added to the team total each day.
The event at McCormick Ranch Golf Club features approximately 60 two-man teams, with a best-ball and scramble format. The winners even receive green jackets.
“Unfortunately, the Masters was moved up [due to weather concerns] and so we were out playing a scramble on Sunday morning, drinking a lot and having a great time,” Dahmen said. “Someone came up on like our 16th hole and was like, “Hey, Tiger’s going to win the Masters.” And I’m like, “Cool, I can’t believe I just missed all that.’
“I saw all the highlights. Sunday and Monday I just spent all day just catching up on the Masters stuff. I saw pretty much all of it, but not live. I can tell you, we’re all the happiest people alive, thankfully for him, awesome comeback, glad he won. What he’s done for the sport and what he continues to do for us. I’m out here because of him; we play for this much money because of him; I have a house because of him. So yeah, it was awesome.”
Dahmen, a cancer survivor, has had three top-16 finishes in his past five starts and tied for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year. He has never played in the Masters — nor any major championship.
Ranked 125th in the world, he will get his first opportunity in two weeks at the PGA Championship.
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