Rory McIlroy revealed he got up close to Tiger Woods at his very best in one of his first outings on tour.
McIlroy was just 16 and still an amateur when he teed it up in the 2006 Dubai Desert Classic.
After finishing a round in the morning, he got his hands on a media credential and headed back out onto the course with a borrowed camera to catch Tiger in action.
The Northern Irishman claimed he witnessed the 15-time major winner - who went on to win in a playoff against Ernie Els - hit “one of the best golf shots I’ve ever seen”.
“I had a better view than most being able to get inside the ropes and have a media credential and Tiger hit a 5-iron out of the right rough on 10 and landed on the green and stopped it on the green,” McIlroy said ahead of this year’s Classic, which begins tomorrow.
"To this day it was one of the best golf shots I've ever seen. It just sticks out in my mind and I was right there for it.”
Asked who he would choose to follow if he was in the same position now, McIlroy reeled off a list of legends.
And he hopes young golf fans watching this year’s tournament can be influenced in the same way he was by Tiger.
“You have got so many guys that have been part of the Tour for so long,” he said.
“I'm thinking like Harrington, Poulter, Westwood, Stenson, Monty for sure. How many more times are people going to get a chance to see Monty play golf in this part of the world?
“I loved getting up close and watching those guys play and try to learn something from them and get inspiration.
“If there's young kids running around this week, they can feel the same way or feel the same things as what I thought back then, then that's a pretty cool feeling.”