I believe there’s a change in the dynamic of PGA Tour management truly being management and the players having more of a voice on what’s happening. Now, that being said, I’m an absolute moron and I don’t know what to tell them when it comes to the ins and outs of the business. I have no clue. I can tell them what I think might make the tournaments better, but the business itself there’s players who have a lot more interest in that and know what to say.
So you had a suggestion that got some notoriety recently. Do you expect the PGA Tour to take your idea of Porta-Potties at each hole seriously?
[Laughs] The funny thing is that I talked to the commissioner and chief of competition and others many times directly about it. At East Lake [home to last week’s Tour Championship], they changed it. I did tell them we need A/C bathrooms, because when it’s 95 and humid those porta-potties are miserable. I told them as a joke, but everybody’s priorities are different. I’ve been trying to make that happen for five years. It’s funny that that joke made it happen.
The thing is, we would have to go to spectator bathrooms. There’s a video of me at the Phoenix Open of people chanting my name waiting for me to get out. My security guard is there and I get out of the bathroom and a thousand people are cheering and I have to navigate the crowd to get back to play. That’s part of my reasoning. Protect the players to play the game.
You had some interesting comments about the prevalence of gambling at Tour events. Can you remember a crazy sum that a fan wagered on you?
Somebody told me that they put ten grand on me to win the U.S. Open at 12-1 odds when I won [in 2021]. That was off the course. At the course, you hear, “I’ve got 20 bucks on you to make a birdie.” You never hear more than $100. It’s usually $5, $10, $15, and you see it exchanged. Sometimes you don’t hear somebody make a putt and you see people exchanging cash. That happens all the time. It’s fun. I don’t blame them.
You have a few weeks off before the Ryder Cup kicks off at the end of September. Energy-wise, does any other tournament or event in golf compare to a Ryder Cup?
No. Golf is an individual sport, [but] that week is Europe vs USA. It’s very clear cut and you have a home team vs a non-home team. And it’s really fun to be a part of that environment. You have 40,000 people cheering for you, it’s absolutely incredible. Or against you, which we never experience. We usually get the “for you” situation for a couple of holes—like, walking up 18 at Augusta, there was a lot of people cheering for me. But you never get the “against you” factor, which, honestly, was fun. You get to see what other athletes experience day-to-day.
Did the reality of winning the Masters measure up to the dream of winning the Masters?
The reality exceeded the dream. I didn’t understand the ramifications of what the Masters was. Especially the way it came down. It was on Seve [Ballesteros’s] birthday, on the anniversary of his second [Masters] win, there were so many things that aligned. My player number being 49 — April 9th, his birthday. I don’t understand how that happened, but there was so much that went into it. It was Spain’s 10th major. It was so many things that made it so much bigger. It’s the only time where it’s exceeded, by far, what I thought it was going to be. That walk after my third shot on 18, those 60 yards, might be the greatest 60 yards I’ve ever walked in my life. It’s going to be very tough to top that one.
How many times have you put on the green jacket?
Take a guess.
I’m going to guess less than a dozen.
You’re correct. So I put it on the next morning to send a picture in this famous group chat between me, J.J. Watt, and Zach Ertz. I put it on just to send them one of me being funny in it and then made that the profile picture of the chat. And then how many times after that? Honestly, I haven’t for sure put it on in June, July, or August.
Would you ever wear it out in public?
No. You actually need approval from Augusta. If I wanted to wear it today, I would need approval. There’s a couple of things I wanted to, but I legit need approval. They don’t like the jacket making an appearance if they don’t know about it and you need to be approved and there’s a dress code.