Former pro explains why players resented Tiger Woods when he first came on Tour

Former pro explains why players resented Tiger Woods when he first came on Tour

Tiger Woods is indisputably the greatest golfer of his generation. His list of accomplishments is so long it has its own Wikipedia page (yes, really) and he forever changed the sport of golf.

But back in 1996, before the green jackets and trophies and awe-inspiring moments, Woods was just a rookie on Tour. And while he had already been anointed the chosen one to carry the torch of pro golf into the next era, he didn’t yet have any professional accolades to back up the hype. And that hype rubbed some established pros the wrong way.

Tiger Woods watches a shot during the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1996.

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“We hated him,” said former Tour pro John Maginnes on this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar. “The money — the rumor was $10 million. That was beyond what a quarterback was making. This was an astronomical sum of money, so we resented him.”

That resentment didn’t last long for Maginnes, though.

“Then I met him,” Maginnes said. “This is one of the funniest guys on the Tour. This guy is awesome. And so you immediately love him. Tiger is beloved in the locker room.”

It wasn’t just Woods’ personality that won over Maginnes, either. It was also his game.

“Once I saw the game, I knew everything that I’d ever done in my entire life was in vain,” he said.

Not long after that, Woods won for the first time in his Tour career. Eighty-one more victories — including 15 majors — would follow, and the rest is history.

Check out the entire episode of Subpar below as Maginnes dishes on what it was like playing with Woods, what it’s like to grind on Tour and more.

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Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.

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