AKRON, Ohio -- Scott Stallings has had one interview after another since Sunday afternoon, when he set the PGA Tour astir with a playoff win at the Greenbrier. Still, the news conference that had him most transfixed was the one featuring a guy who hasn't played in 12 weeks.
An hour before it was his turn to meet the media at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Tuesday, Stallings was watching on TV as Tiger Woods was on the stage. "I was encouraged by him just being in the tournament and everything," Stallings said.
The fact is, he always has liked watching Woods on TV, dating to when he was a sixth-grader and Woods was winning the 1997 Masters. "I'm a player but I'm also a fan and Tiger was the person who made golf cool, especially when I was growing up, through middle school," said Stallings, 26, another member of the generation that Woods, 35, inspired.
Stallings was the first alternate at The Players this year and was hanging around the clubhouse when Woods limped in, having withdrawn because of injuries that would keep him out until this week. "He was in obvious pain," Stallings said, adding that the best part of having won Sunday was that he will get to go to Augusta and practice some of the shots he saw Woods hit there 14 years ago.