John Smoltz breaks from World Series to talk golf, Tiger at Augusta

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

John Smoltz breaks from World Series to talk golf, Tiger at Augusta

PGA Tour

John Smoltz breaks from World Series to talk golf, Tiger at Augusta

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John Smoltz took time between World Series games to talk golf ahead of his title defense in the celebrity division of the LPGA’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. With Tiger Woods on the verge of tying Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories in Japan, Smoltz can appreciate more than most what’s happening a world away.

The MLB Hall of Famer has roughly a million Woods stories from their time together on the course, but one in particular stands above the rest ­– that time they played Augusta National together two weeks before the Masters with Sunday pins. ­

MORE: How to watch Woods chase 82 at the Zozo Championship

“I had a hard time sleeping the night before,” admitted Smoltz, who was granted a break from spring training to make the trip.

Because Smoltz was late getting to Woods’ plane, they weren’t able to hit balls on the range. They went straight to the first tee cold, where they played it all the way back.

“I remember hitting the first ball right down the middle of the fairway,” said Smoltz. “He hit it in the bunker, and I’m, like, this could be my day. And he said that to me. He said, ‘This could be your day.’

“And I made six from the middle of the fairway. He made four. He shot 66. I think I shot 76. And it was just a display on where not to hit the ball and where to hit the ball, in one group.”

Smoltz called it a dream-come-true day, watching Woods navigate Augusta National like was he was playing “his backyard golf course.”

Smoltz will be calling Game 5 of the Astros vs. Nationals for Fox in Washington while Woods works to clinch the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship.

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