Excuse us for remaining stuck in Masters mode, but, well, what else is really going on right now, you know? Anyway, one of the most re-watched tournaments last week was the famous 2005 duel between Tiger Woods and Chris DiMarco. But while the two players traded jabs with their golf clubs, it turns out DiMarco also hit Tiger with some vicious trash-talk during that final round.
Many have joked over the past few days that last week was especially difficult for DiMarco as golf fans desperate to watch anything put Masters tournaments from 2005 and 2004—when DiMarco had a rough day playing in the final pairing with Phil Mickelson—back in the spotlight. But DiMarco really seems to enjoy talking about his (almost) glory days as evidenced by his recent chat with ESPN’s Michael Collins.
You can watch and listen to the entire interview below, but first, we wanted to highlight a couple exchanges throughout the day between Woods and DiMarco. The gamesmanship between these familiar foes and Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teammates began before they even teed off. As DiMarco tells Collins, the proud University of Florida alum wrote «Go Gators» on a golf ball and chipped it into Tiger’s pile of balls, coyly pretending he had nothing to do with it.
«And I turned around and I see him pull a sharpie out of his back pocket and he hits it back to me,» DiMarco recalls. «And instead of saying ‘Go Gators,’ it said «F— the Gators.» I actually kept that ball. I have it somewhere.»
Yeah, that’s a keeper.
«It was actually good,» DiMarco added. «It was a calming factor for me to go to the tee with that little bit of fun before the round started.»
Well, the playful banter didn’t stop there. On the ninth hole, Woods and DiMarco both knocked it close and made birdie. DiMarco, who had hit 4-iron(!) to Tiger’s pitching wedge and been tighter, made sure to let Tiger know who struck it better on the front nine.
«I think walking off that green, because I hit it so good on that front side, I had said to him, ‘Are you tired of putting first yet?'» DiMarco said. Boom! «And he kind of gave me a little smirk like, basically what the golf ball said about the Gators.»
Of course, Woods wound up having the last laugh—and hitting one closer than Chris on that first playoff hole to set up the winning birdie. But it had been an enjoyable battle for both.
«That’s the kind of thing he likes. If you could talk to him like that on the golf course, he loves that,» the three-time PGA Tour winner added. «That means you’re not only getting the best golf from somebody, but somebody’s also giving you a little crap out there too, and that just kinda fuels the fire for everybody.»
Maybe so, but that’s pretty bold to talk to Tiger like that in a big spot. Anyway, watch the entire interview in which DiMarco also describes the scene on No. 16 for Tiger’s iconic chip-in:
You’re a good sport, Chris, but an even better competitor. And while you may not have a green jacket to prove that, at least you have a pretty cool golf ball as a reminder.
Originally Appeared on Golf Digest