Bonnie Nieman (“Spelled like the department store but I don’t put out a Christmas catalog” she said) tracked Woods on the front nine and said “This is the biggest thing to happen to Innisbrook since 1996.” That’s when Woods last played at the Copperhead Course and his return inspired Nieman to bring her grandson Addison. Spieth said it felt like a major championship out there.
PGA Tour Radio on-course analyst Mark Carnevale who has walked nearly all of Woods’s rounds this season and competed against Woods in his heyday on Tour said the crowds at the Valspar Championship were the biggest he’s ever seen.
It has been a tumultuous two years for Watson who dealt with an undisclosed illness various family issues and a ball change that seemingly did him no favors. He ranked No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking when he was left off the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team and served as a vice-captain that week to Davis Love III but entered this week at No. 117 after his worst season in the FedEx Cup era. “It was the lowest point I’ve ever been at in the game” he said.