It’s going to be a week that Matt Parziale never will forget.
The Brockton, Mass., firefight qualified to play in the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open as the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion last year. He’s been living out his dream this week at Augusta, Ga., topped off by playing a practice round with his idol, Tiger Woods, on Wednesday.
Woods is preparing to mount an assault on his fifth green jacket, so many would expect the 42-year-old to have been locked in his own world the day before the first round. But Woods chatted with Parziale throughout the round and even imparted some Masters wisdom to the amateur golfer.
“He’s kind, he’s a great guy,” Parziale said of Woods, via USA TODAY. “He’s great to talk to, whether we were talking about life or talking about how to play the course, it was great conversation and great company.
“He went through a lot of stuff, the way some putts break that you don’t see,” he added. “People who come here for the first time, that’s what they don’t see right away, so he was trying to show me those areas.”
Woods is playing in his first Masters since 2015 and is seen as one of the favorites to take home the year’s first major. The four-time Masters champions loved playing with the man who normally works 24-hour shifts saving lives.
“We really had a lot of fun. He’s a terrific kid and we had a really good time,” Woods said. “I’m really impressed by his game. He’s a very good player.”
The year’s first major kicks off Thursday morning at Augusta National.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images