Aussie Open rookie pulls rank on Tiger

Australian British Open rookie Dimi Papadatos has revealed how he pulled rank on Tiger Woods to play a practice hole with the golf legend at Royal Portrush.

18-Jul-2019 By Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press
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Aussie British Open tyro Dimi Papadatos has delighted in pulling rank on Tiger Woods at Royal Portrush.

Papadatos will make his major championship debut when he tees up on Thursday night, but already has a memorable tale for his mates after putting Woods in his place during a pre-tournament practice round.

The 28-year-old, countryman Jake McLeod and Kiwi Ryan Fox quickly sensed the bigger-than-expected gallery flocking to the tee box couldn't have been for them.

"And Tiger was there pegging it up," Papadatos said after realising the 15-times major winner was trying to drop in.

"His manager said he was going to play the first then jump in front and go off down 13.

"I said 'yeah, alright no worries. Just make sure it doesn't happen again.'

"He piped one down there and walked over and said 'Thanks guys, I'm just going to go through unless you want to play up then I'll get out of your way.

"I said: 'Just wait a sec mate, we're coming with you.'"

Papadatos, who earned his Open start with a runner-up finish behind Abraham Ancer at last year's Australian Open at The Lakes, wasn't going to miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

"I think we all thought for a second we'd do the right thing and let him go, but I wasn't letting him do the right thing. He was definitely staying with us," he said.

Papadatos standing up to Woods comes a day after the Masters champion revealed how world No.1 Brooks Koepka had ignored his invitation to play a practice round with him.

But the American superstar took it all in his stride, sharing a joke and laugh with Papadatos and McLeod before going it alone after playing out the hole together.

Managed by former NRL star Braith Anasta, a handy golfer himself, 28-year-old Papadatos also played a practice round with Jason Day earlier this week.

"It was nice of Jason to take time out and give me a bit of advice," he said.

"I had lunch with him as well after the round, which was pretty cool."

Papadatos, who has missed the cut in his past four events in Europe, hits off at 8.58pm (AEST) with American Joel Dahlmen and Spaniard Adri Arnaus.


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