Tiger Woods and the Blind Long Snapper: A Mutually Inspiring Reunion

LOS ANGELES — A mariner could navigate Riviera Country Club by the stars that come out to the Genesis Open to behold Tiger Woods, who made his PGA Tour debut at this tournament when he was a 16-year-old amateur.

All but one of his 12 starts in the event have come at Riviera, the Los Angeles course that Ben Hogan ruled in the 1940s but that Woods has never cracked, managing only one top-three finish.

A Wednesday downpour — possibly a preview of Thursday’s first round — didn’t prevent spectators like Jared Goff, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback, and the actor Timothy Simons, of HBO’s “Veep,” from following Woods through his morning pro-am round.

Neither of them, though, gave Woods the kind of affection he received from a seven-year-old yellow Labrador retriever named Quebec, who licked Woods’s face when he stopped to talk briefly with the dog’s owner, Jake Olson.

The letter, Olson said, described his college playing debut as an “uplifting moment” and congratulated him on his “great achievement.”

Charlie Sifford, the first African-American to play on the PGA Tour, won 50 years ago at Riviera, which helped inspire Woods’s father, Earl, to take up the game. That led to his son’s start in the sport, which created countless ripple effects.

“My dad’s my caddie,” Olson told Woods, “and my inspiration is what you had with your dad.”

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