Ash Barty has spoken out about her encounter with golf icon Tiger Woods ahead of her return to international play this weekend.
The Queenslander has demonstrated her commitment to pursuing a golf career by signing up for the Icons Series, where she will compete against some of sport’s biggest names, including 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, boxing megastar Canelo Alvarez, English footballer Harry Kane, and Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting.
Barty had a mixed first day of results, winning his “Greensome” tie with Tottenham standout Kane.
However, they were defeated in their four-ball battle by former baseball pitcher John Smoltz and ex-NBA star J.R. Smith.
Barty later paired up with fellow Australian Ponting, but they were defeated by former NFL stars Reggie Bush and Michael Vick in a four-ball contest.
The second day of the competition will be broadcast throughout the world, and you can catch the Icons Series on Fox Sports and Kayo starting at 4 a.m. (AEST) on Saturday.
Barty, who has a handicap of 4, won the females championship at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club on Brisbane’s outskirts in April.
Barty has always been a talented golfer, and she stunned Woods at an exhibition event little over two years ago.
“She’s got a great swing, are you kidding me?” Woods exclaimed after Barty lofted a wedge into Melbourne’s Yarra River ahead of the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.
Reflecting on that moment, Barty confessed she was extremely nervous swing a golf club just metres away from Woods but she couldn’t have struck the ball any better.
“I hit it too well, I really did,” she told Fox Sports golf expert Paul Gow in an interview on Fox Sports and Kayo ahead of this weekend’s Icons Series.
“I was trying to overthink and the balls were balls that would float, so they were a bit different. I just completely overthought it but absolutely flushed it and hit it well.
“It was really nice to experience something that really put me out of my comfort zone and to have so many incredible golfers surrounding (me). We got a couple of cool photos from photographers behind me hitting a golf ball, which I never thought in my life would happen.
“But a hell of an experience to be able to watch them as well at Royal Melbourne — one of the most demanding courses in Australia.