And that was back in 2016 at the Puerto Rico Open, an alternate event held the same week of the WGC Match Play.
One marshal wanted an autograph. "Not many people have a chance to do something like that".
McIlroy has made progress in his own right, having gone some 18 months without a victory as he coped with a rib injury until he pulled away from Woods and the rest of the field to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Thomas hasn't heard that in a while.
Jim Furyk predicted next month's Ryder Cup will be a "battle of two giants", but the US captain said he's pleased with the way his team is shaping up heading into the PGA Championship. The last player to repeat was Tiger Woods 11 years ago. He once said it couldn't be a great year without winning a major. He was 44th past year at Quail Hollow.
"I'm trying to work a few kinks out of my swing".
This is a deep friendship that transcends any rivalry, and Thomas was never overly bothered by the mention of being Spieth's close friend. Spieth's suffered major collapses in the past especially in the final rounds. "It felt very familiar", Woods added.
Spieth has not tasted victory since last year's Open and could only finish ninth in the defence of his title after taking a share of the lead into the final round at Carnoustie. All that did was ratchet up the hysteria that perhaps another major is in the cards.
As was expected, Tiger Woods was the centre of attention during media day at the PGA Championship.
"He has no weaknesses in his game", Thomas said.
"It's going to be hot, it's going to be wet and fortunately, I'm one of the guys who hit the ball high and gets the ball up in the air". So yeah, it will be a cool week.
His only other experience at Bellerive came in 2001, when he was preparing for the American Express Championship that was canceled due to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The players with Woods on Wednesday - and for the next two days - were telling.
Or the questions that have started to follow Rory McIlroy, who needs to win the Masters, and Phil Mickelson, who has played the U.S. Open five times without capturing the only major he's missing. It was a good PGA Championship for a player that had come to expect greatness or at least have greatness expected of him. He has consistently put himself into contention in the majors this year, finishing inside the top 10 in all three.
World number one Dustin Johnson, Australian Jason Day, the 2015 PGA champion, Briton Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open victor and Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champ were among the group of 11 players on 67. He had another solid performance (T31) last week, and it seems only a matter of time before he gets that first win since 2013. And while Gramps has been there for many of his career-defining moments, there are many distant relatives that will get to see him compete for the first time this week.
The gallery in some places was more than a dozen deep.
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