For most golfers, learning that you’ve won a round of golf with one of the game’s greatest players of all time would be exhilarating…and, likely as the time approached, more than a bit nerve-wracking.
When selected to participate in the inaugural round at the Tiger Woods-designed Bluejack National Golf Course, 11 year-old Girls Golf member and Montgomery, Texas native Ceci Lococo, overcame her nerves, handling herself with style and grace – thanks in large part to Tiger’s affinity for connecting with young people, along with a little encouragement from her older brother.
If the BlueJack National event sounds familiar it’s likely because you’ve seen the buzz-worthy hole-in-one made by Ceci’s playing partner Taylor Crozier on the very first hole. Featured by nearly every major media outlet, from USA Today and CNN to GQ and Golf Digest, Taylor’s hole-in-one quickly went viral.
But Taylor wasn’t the only junior who put on a stellar performance while in the company of a golf legend that day. A little known fact – Ceci nearly had a hole-out of her own with Tiger looking on that same day. Not only that, but she carded three birdies during their round to tie Taylor, outscoring Tiger by three strokes.
For Ceci, an interest in golf sparked by wanting to tag along with her older brother has turned into an unwavering passion for the game that led her to an unforgettable day with Tiger Woods.
We asked Ceci to tell us more about her day with Tiger; here’s what she had to say:
At just 11 years old, you’re probably too young to remember a lot of Tiger’s career. How much did you know about him before the event and what was it like spending the day with him?
I heard about Tiger Woods but didn’t know that much so I started reading up about him. When I started to learn more about how many tournaments he’s won, I started to get pretty nervous about meeting him.
When I was warming up on the driving range before the round, my brother could see I was pretty nervous and gave me some advice. He said I should slow down my swing and just enjoy the day. It really helped me a lot!
Tiger was so nice! He gave me some tips on the driving range and watched my swing. He said I should pick a few different flags on the range as targets and hit different clubs to each of them to practice my distances. It was pretty cool. My brother and I do that now whenever we go to the practice range.
When we were playing, Tiger also asked to use my towel to clean his putter grip. I don’t think I’m ever going to wash it…for good luck!
When we were done, he gave us some really nice gifts—an autographed Nike putter and a Tiger headcover. I’ll probably keep the putter at home and put the headcover on my bag.
What was it like watching Taylor’s hole-in-one?
It was really amazing to watch! There were a lot of people watching us tee off and when it went in the whole the crowd really went wild. I was so happy for him, it was really exciting!
On the ninth hole I hit my shot onto the green and it almost went in! Tiger told me “You got me on that one Ceci!” It was really cool. My dad even said that if I get a hole in one in the future he would get me a puppy.
How were you selected to participate in the event?
The South Texas PGA hosted a contest called Kids FORE a Cause. To be entered into the drawing to play with Tiger, you had to raise money for charity and earn points by playing in tournaments. I won 11 tournaments last year, which really helped me with earning points and also raised $300 for the Houston Children’s Hospital. There were more than 400 names entered for the drawing and they picked me!
What do you love the most about golf?
I really love when I hit a shot close to the hole…almost as much as I like making a long putt! I also like hanging out and practicing with my brother after school. Being a part of Girls Golf is really great too because I get to see all of my friends; we have a lot of fun.
There are certainly very few experiences that could compare to meeting and spending the day with a legend. Kudos for Ceci for earning a spot in this year’s historic event!
How would you react if you found out you won a round of golf with Tiger Woods?