12-Year-Old Kid Out-Drives Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods outdone by 12-year-old New Jersey golfer

By Teresa Masterson
|  Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009  |  Updated 9:59 AM PDT
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12-Year-Old Talks About Victory Over Tiger Woods

This kid has shown Tiger Woods what's up.

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Local Boy Out Drives Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods challenged a local 12-year-old boy to drive the ball better than him. So Mark Benevento Jr. did.

12-Year-Old Talks About Victory Over Tiger Woods

Mark Benevento Jr. tells what it was like to step up to a Tiger Woods' challenge.
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Tiger Woods got middle-schooled on the fairways of North Carolina.

Much like Happy Gilmore’s challenge of, “Step right up, folks. See if you can out drive the amazing Golf Ball, uh, Whacker Guy,” Woods dared a crowd of people in North Carolina to out-drive him earlier this month. 

Mark Benevento Jr., who is probably too young to recognize the Adam Sandler reference, stepped right up and did just that, out-whacking the champion. Twice.

“I don’t really think I beat [Tiger], but I think I did pretty good,” said the 12-year-old duffer.

While displaying his new golf course design in Asheville, N.C., Woods hit a few tee-shots down the fairway. After shooting two of his balls into the trees, Woods challenged anyone watching to do better.

Young Mark did just that.

“He called me from the crowd of, like, 100 people,” said Mark. “I wasn’t really nervous but then I got nervous when I stepped up.”

Woods handed Mark the driver and with an easy swing, the South Jersey boy hit a straight shot down the middle, about 200 yards. In humorous disbelief, Woods said, “Do that again. We’ve got to see that again.”

So Mark did it again.

“I was surprised because I thought I was going to top it or something,” said Mark. “[Tiger] was clapping. He was really surprised that I can actually hit it.”

Mark traveled with his father to hear the golfing great speak Oct. 4 at the first-ever Tiger Woods-designed golf course, which is still under development at The Cliffs at High Carolina,

“How old are you?…You’re 12. Twelve years old,” said Woods, as his voice trailed off. “That’s pretty cool.”

Mark Benevento Sr. co-owns the Great Bay Country Club in Somers Point, N.J., giving his son great practice for his unexpected Tiger Woods showdown. Mark regularly shoots in the high 70s.

“Well done, bud. Well done,” Woods told the boy. “I’m proud of you.”

So are we, Mark.


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