Johnny Manziel claims that playing golf as a kid cultivated his intense competitive nature and that he idolized Tiger Woods.
Breitbart News reported last week that the Cleveland Browns backup QB appears on the December cover of Golf Digest. Manziel explained that his passion for the game started when he was four years old, or maybe younger, when he began hitting plastic golf balls with a set of starter clubs. “I had one of those things where the plastic ball was attached to a rope, and I could hit it 10 or 15 yards and go get it. I’d hit it off concrete and back to the grass,” Manziel said.
One of Manziel’s earliest golf memories was when Tiger Woods rode by him in a cart on Isleworth golf course in Orlando, where his dad was playing in a member-guest tournament, and denied the future Heisman Trophy winner’s request for an autograph.
“I was sitting about 100 yards from the 18th green, and he drove by in a cart and was pulling his hat really, really low. I remember him saying, ‘No autographs today,'” he recalled.
Manziel admitted his obsession with Tiger when he was younger to Golf Digest, “I had everything Tiger. I wanted to be just like him. I got my dad to get me that Scotty Cameron putter that Tiger used for all of those years. I wanted one exactly like it.”
According to Manziel, his hopes were high for getting an autograph the day Tiger whizzed by in the cart. He had caught up with the golf legend while Woods putted on the 16th hole. Woods told the starry-eyed Johnny Football to meet him after the round, presumably for an autograph. Tiger continuing on his way after the round without giving the autograph left Manziel disturbed but he didn’t hold it against Tiger for long.
“I was really bitter about it for a day, but today I don’t really think much of it,” Manziel said. “If I ever run into Tiger at Nike or somewhere, it’ll be a funny story.”