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Tiger Woods ready for first Valspar Championship at Innisbrook

Comeback bringing out more fans
Posted at 5:37 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 17:46:30-05

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — As Tiger Woods finished off the Pro-Am on the Copperhead course, Matthew Frizzola waited on one side of the barrier.

The kid was hoping for an autograph.

“I don’t know there’s a lot of people here.”

Related: Tiger Woods brings extra fans to Valspar Championship at Innisbrook

Griffin Burke was on the other side. He begged his grandparents to bring him while he’s here on spring break.

“Greatness. I saw greatness. I’m excited to get his signature.”

But when the time came, Tiger went by in flash, passing both boys.

Surrounded by an army of security, Tiger signed several autographs.

14-year-old Jonah Dunlap of Tampa had an unforgettable day. Finding out in the morning, he would be holding Tiger’s score sign for the round.

It’s called being the standard bearer.

“We talked a little bit about golf and stuff. It was a lot of fun. I had a great time. One experience I’ll never forget.”

Tiger hasn’t played a tournament in Tampa Bay for more than 20 years. So there are many fans who are getting their first chance to see him up close.

“It’s fantastic so far. They were nice yesterday. They were great today,” Woods said.

Despite everything that’s happened in his life, there is still no one else in golf that matches his star power.

“People have hard times. It’s great to see him back,” said a fan.

Tiger tees off at 12:46 p.m. Thursday for his first round.

The crowds following him should be huge.

He is grouped with 3-time major champion Jordan Spieth and 2016 British Open champion Heinrich Stenson.