Roger Maltbie recently described the scene surrounding Tiger Woods' 2018 Tour Championship win as "beautiful pandemonium" in Golf Digest's oral history of the momentous event. But in that chaos, there was also a beautiful moment between the legendary golfer and the beloved NBC on-course reporter.
Shortly after Tiger tapped in for a victory many never thought they'd see, he tapped knuckles with a man who had chronicled so many of his wins in person:
What a moment! It's getting dusty in here again. . .
But as comfortable as these two have become while doing their respective jobs, there's one thing Maltbie couldn't get Tiger to do: A pre-round interview. As Maltbie tells it, this goes back to NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open and the parking lot chats they did upon players arriving to the course. Or rather, the parking lot chats they tried to do, because certain players declined. And the time he tried to get Tiger still stands out.
"Yeah, you're out in the parking lot. That was my job," Maltbie told reporters at East Lake earlier this week ahead of the Tour Championship. "Jack wouldn't do them. Watson wouldn't do them. Tiger's not going to do it. Tommy, he's not going to do it. Ask him anyway. So I asked him one time, I said, 'Hey, Tiger, I hate to bother you, but they pay me a lot of money. They asked me to do this. They paid me a lot of money. I don't mean to be a pain.' He looked at me and said, 'they pay me a lot more to not do it.' Bingo! I said, 'you're right.'"
Well played by both. Maltie was then asked if Tiger had "a smile on his face?"
"Sure, he did. He's a good guy," Maltbie answered. "I've never had a problem with Tiger, never, ever, ever, ever. But I know when to leave him alone. And it's not that we don't have the occasional word on the golf course, but I'm not seeking it. I'm not approaching him for anything. I mean, if he walks by and makes a comment, great, but those are few and far between, and that's fine."
If he walks by and makes a comment—or offers a fist bump—that is.