Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods rose to stardom together as once-in-a-lifetime talents in their respective sports starting in the late-1990s.
Whether it was Manning and his NFL record five MVP awards and two Super Bowl titles, or Woods and his 14 major championships, the two have represented everything excellent about competition and dominance of their leagues.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Manning and Woods have formed a friendship over the years, and on Wednesday, the two 42 year olds found themselves together once again — and, not surprisingly, it was out on the golf course.
The two paired up in the Memorial Tournament's pro-am event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. where, teamed up with two other amateurs, the group would shoot 11-under par on the day.
Manning said Wednesday's event with Woods was a "real treat."
"It's great to see him out here," Manning said of Woods, via the PGA TOUR on Twitter. "I know it's been a couple years since he's been back to this tournament, (and) you see a lot of people out here that want to see him. But he's playing great — had an unbelievable chip-in back there on 8, with what looked like an impossible to lie the amateur, and it appeared to be an easy shot for him and chipped it in. He's a great host. Here with a couple other Nationwide employees and customers, and having a lot of fun."
Wednesday's outing was at least the third pro-am in which Manning and Woods have teamed up, as we learned from Manning in a previous tournament how Woods inspired some of the Colts' no-huddle audibles.
But Woods has been able to draw some inspiration, himself, from Manning in recent months. Manning underwent a fusion surgery in his neck and was able to get back to MVP form, while Woods hopes to do the same after undergoing spinal fusion surgery.
"Yeah, and I can certainly relate," Manning said of Woods, who has already finished in the top-12 in PGA TOUR events four times this year. "It's about being flexible, being adaptive. You know, I couldn't throw the ball the same way after my injury, but you learn to use your experience and football intellect. And so obviously that's what he's doing — he's adjusted his game and his swing, and (is) using his experience and using other parts of his body to get some strength and power. And, like I said, for a golf fan, it's great to see him back out here. And he sure is hitting the ball well today.
Most of all, however, Manning and Woods just enjoy being able to relate on a level few athletes have been able to reach in their respective sports.
"Yeah, kind of like Tiger, Derek Jeter — guys that are kind of my age that sort of played at the same time; you always had great respect for other players in other sports and how they went about their craft and their work ethic," Manning said. "And, like I said, golfers get to do it a little bit longer than football players and baseball players, but it sure is fun to see him back out there. I know it's good for the Tour, it's great for the crowds and the fans, and I'm happy for him."