By DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Calvin Peete competed in The Players Championship for the last time a year before Tiger Woods turned pro.
Woods said he never had a chance to meet him, though he was well aware of how Peete went from the vegetable fields to being a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour.
And how straight Peete hit the ball.
“There is a stat that not too many people know about,” Woods said Tuesday. “And that is, at Muirfield Village he didn’t miss a fairway for 21/2 years. I mean, over 10 rounds without missing a fairway. OK, you’re going to hit one bad shot somewhere in 21/2 years, but he never missed a fairway.”
Peete died last week. He was the most successful black golfer in PGA Tour history before Woods arrived in 1996. Among his victories was The Players Championship.
“I remember watching when he won here and what he did,” said Woods, who would have been 9 when Peete won at the TPC Sawgrass.
“And certainly he’s one of the guys I looked up to as a person of color, being able to do it, especially at the time when there weren’t that many out here. … For me as a person of color, it meant something to me to watch him do well.”
Woods was close to the late Charlie Sifford, who broke the color barrier on the PGA. He also has met Lee Elder, the first black to play in the Masters who was at Augusta National when Woods won his first green jacket. He never crossed paths with Peete.
“For some reason, a couple guys throughout history _ Teddy Rhodes, Bill Spiller _ all those guys that I wish I would have gotten a chance to meet and a chance to talk to, I never really got that opportunity,” Woods said.