Shane Lowry described playing with Tiger Woods at Augusta as 'a really cool experience' - one he wasn't about to ruin by making fun of Woods after he took 10 shots at the par-three 12th in the final round.
Lowry was paired with the defending champion for the first two days of the Masters and played with him again in the final round, which meant a front-row seat to Woods' nightmare hole and the impressive response he then produced.
Speaking on Paddy Power's The Horse's Mouth podcast, Lowry said: "I got drawn with Tiger last week which was, it was something that I was obviously very pleased with, I was happy with, but in a way then I was like 'oh God you know I kind of wouldn’t mind an under-the-radar group and get out there and do my business the first couple of days'.
"But I loved every minute of it to be honest, it was great. He is my childhood golfing idol so to get out there and play Augusta with him was pretty cool. Just to watch him play the golf course – the way he handles himself around that golf course and the first two days especially, he just played really, really nice and he didn’t do anything stupid, didn’t do anything wrong so I definitely learned a lot from playing with him and it was obviously a really cool experience as well."
Lowry was outplayed and outscored by Woods in the opening round as the defending champion raised hopes of a 16th major championship. However, he backtracked thereafter and Lowry was able to claim bragging rights over their final two rounds together - not that he was about to make that point as they strode to the 13th tee.
Woods made his highest-ever score on a hole at Augusta at the 12th hole during the final round, finding the water three times en route to a 10. In classic Woods fashion, he then went on to birdie five of the final six holes and restore pride, demonstrating to his partners and those watching at home the desire and strength of mind which has underpinned his 25-year career at the top.
"I just couldn’t believe what was happening, but that just shows, that hole is just, people think it’s a 150 yards, the easiest hole, it should be easy," Lowry said of the remarkable scenes at the famous 12th. "It’s one of the most brutal holes in golf, the wind swirls down there, the green is soft and spinny and it’s a huge sigh of relief when you actually hit the green."
So what did Lowry say to Woods down the next? Perhaps wisely, not a lot.
"No it’s funny cos any time he hit like a little bad drive or an average drive, he’d say to Joe (LaCava, Woods' caddy) ‘that was like one of yours Joey’. And both we stood on the 13th tee and Bo (Martin, Lowry's caddy) said to me ‘what do you think he’d say if I said to him 'I bet you wish Joe hit that one'?"
"I was like maybe don’t say that and everybody afterwards when we were coming in said you should have said it to him, you should have said it to him, but no. We didn’t say anything for a couple of holes - (I) bottled it.
"You want to see him for the next six holes though, he basically hit every shot stiff for the next six holes, it was incredible to watch."
Lowry also reflected fondly on Friday's round during which he produced a moment of Woods-like magic himself, chipping in from a seemingly impossible spot at the 14th, a shot which helped get him inside the cut line and through to the weekend.
"I said to him ‘it was probably the second best chip I’ve ever seen on this course’, because obviously his on the 16 the year he won the Masters I think in 2008 (2006) or something and he kind of had a bit of a giggle at that.
"Stuff like that is pretty cool and that was just incredible that chip shot, I left it in the worst possible spot I could have and I was on the cut mark or even I thought I was outside the cut mark at the time so I thought I really needed to make par.
"It was a huge Brucey bonus doing that, but to do it there, in front of him, he thought it was pretty cool, obviously thought it was a great shot as well and yeah it was nice to do stuff like that."
Lowry left Augusta in awe of the performance of winner Dustin Johnson but pleased to have bagged some precious experience of the course ahead of the next edition and those beyond it. If he does ever go on to collect a green jacket, those rounds with Woods may have played a vital role.
"I’ve got photos, I’ve got videos and I’ve got great memories from last week so it’s something that I’ll have forever and yeah, like I said it was just great to get out there and play with him," added last year's Open hero.
"And then even the first two rounds was really cool – to play with him the first two rounds, but to be drawn with him in the final round, the Sunday round and stuff like that, that was pretty cool as well just to get out there. I’m out there trying to beat him as well. You want to kind of try and shoot a better score than him and obviously he gave me a huge helping hand!
"I’ve got hopefully another good few Masters in me and hopefully some day I’ll have the chance to win one over the weekend and you never know, making that cut last weekend and learning sort of playing the course the way I did might help me in years going forward."