Tiger Woods brought joy to millions of fans worldwide with his return to the Masters Thursday.
One fan savored Tiger’s presence at Augusta National far more than most.
Devoted golfer Shane Caldwell of Columbia, S.C., “always wanted to meet” Woods. Thursday Caldwell, who is afflicted with stage 4 lung cancer, had his wish come true thanks to his stepdaughter, Woods and Woods’ girlfriend.
Woods warmed up prior to his round of 73 Thursday, signed his glove and then approached Caldwell, who was sitting in his wheelchair at the back of the practice range gallery.
“Are you Shane?” Woods asked, reports the Augusta Chronicle, breaking into a grin.
Woods and Caldwell briefly chatted. Woods signed a glove saying “Stay Strong!! Tiger Woods” and gave it to Caldwell.
“It was pretty emotional,” Caldwell said, according to the Chronicle. “I went to the PGA in 2012. We were there eight days and we’d be there at 7 o’clock in the morning or late, late night and I never saw him (on the driving range). I just wanted to get him to sign my hat.”
Caldwell and his wife did not learn until Wednesday evening that Woods would be meeting with them. The meeting occurred thanks to the efforts ofJordan Miller, Shane Caldwell’s stepdaughter, on social media.
Miller posted several emotional pleas detailing Shane Caldwell’s medical issues and his long-time fan devotion to Woods.
Miller was “friended” by Erica Herman, Woods’ girlfriend, as her posts were going viral. They connected and the plan for Shane Caldwell to meet Woods was set into motion.
According to The State, Miller gave Woods’ team a description of Caldwell and made sure he was close to Herman Thursday, so Tiger could find him in the crowd.
“I’ve just always wanted to meet him,” Caldwell said, the Chronicle reported. “A lot of people knock him down for a poor choice here or there. I’ve kind of always had his back.”