Kevin Shanahan has been volunteering at the Honda Classic for several years. This year, however, has been different.
Shanahan is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 of Shanahan’s schoolmates were killed Feb. 14 in a mass shooting on campus. On Wednesday, Shanahan wore his Stoneman Douglas Golf polo instead of the polo given to volunteers to honor those students.
“I wear the shirt as a tribute to the 17 lives that have been taken,” Shanahan told CBS12.
Shanahan was volunteering on the range Wednesday morning at PGA National as Woods warmed up for his pro-am round. And once Woods’ caddie, Joe LaCava, heard Shanahan’s story, he told Woods.
Woods then called Shanahan over and not only signed a hat for Shanahan but also engaged in a brief conversation.
“It was really a majority of me thanking him because I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m getting this signed by Tiger Woods,’ but it really felt like he talked from the heart,” said Shanahan, who also got a photo with defending champion Rickie Fowler. “It didn’t feel scripted, it felt like it really came from him being sincere and saying, ‘I’m really sorry that you’re going through this,’ and it made me feel awesome.”
Many players wore ribbons Thursday at PGA National, which is about 40 miles from Stoneman Douglas, to honor to shooting victims.
“All of the players here are with Stoneman,” Shanahan said, “and it makes me happy to be a student and be acknowledged here.”
Said Woods on Thursday: “I live here. It’s just a shame what people are doing now, and all the countless lives that we’ve lost for absolutely no reason at all. It’s just a shame, and what they have to deal with, at such a young age, the horrible tragedy they are going to have to live with and some of the things we’ve seen, just don’t go away.”