"So I went in and played it and I made bogey on that hole, the par-3, and I made bogey on the last hole. I still have the card at home - he signed it and he went par-par, and I lost by two.
"That was the first time I ever met Sam, but after that we've had countless dinners and conversations, and he was always so funny to be around, and the stories he would tell and the needling, the needling was nonstop."
Woods said Snead shared with him the history of The Greenbrier and Old White, and his passion for this slice of America.
But Woods said he was sold more by simply watching the Classic on TV, and seeing how much the players enjoyed it.
But in my nutty thoughts, I have to wonder. Is the growth of the tournament, all those gorgeous images on TV, players smiling and more relaxed than usual, simply the result of big vision and hours of hard work?
Or is the hand of one Samuel Jackson Snead involved?
I know one thing: The man would have loved to see what is happening at his favorite course. And would have loved to play two more holes with "snot-nosed" Tiger Woods.
Woods let on that he had two connections to West Virginia: Snead and his freshman roommate at Stanford.
The odd thing is: We don't know that roommate's name, or where he was from. Woods wasn't letting those details loose, for whatever reason.
One thing is known: In the book Tiger Woods: A Biography by Lawrence J. Londino, you learn that at Stanford, freshman roommates were selected at random.
As it turned out, the unnamed West Virginian knew nothing about golf - he even took a call from "somebody with a funny accent," which turned out to be Greg Norman.
Nothing serious. Norman just wanted to take the youthful Woods to a practice round at Augusta National.
Woods did share one detail about that roommate. Apparently, he didn't know about golf but pretty much knew about everything else.
"I'm sure you'll research him, so we'll let it be," Woods said. "But I'll tell you what, the dude was smart."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.