Text Box: Text Box: Text Box: Q-C business gets a special present from Tiger
Tuesday, July 8, 1997

VIEWPOINT
By Don Doxsie

NO Tiger this week.
We have a Jaeckel, a Robin, and a Peoples in the Quad-Cities Classic.
We have a Spike, a Buddy and a Chip.
We have J.P., P.H. and D.A.
We even have Willie Wood.
No Tiger Woods.
As the Classic gets under way this week, all we have of Tiger are our memories of last year's appearance here by the brightest comet to dart through the golf universe in, well ... maybe ever.
Bettendorf's Steve Trumbo is luckier than most of us. He has something tangible by which to remember Tiger's visit.
Trumbo, the owner of Sports Fans Pizza, received it in the mail about a month ago. It was accompanied by a nice note from Lil Harmon, the wife of Tiger's golfing mentor, thanking Trumbo for his "sincere generosity and hospitality."
It was one of the hole flags from Augusta National, site of Tiger's historic victory in the Masters, neatly framed with the hand-scrawled inscription "To Steve, all the best. Tiger Woods."
They ceremoniously hung it on the wall at Sports Fans Monday for all to see.
"Lil said she thought they would send something to show their thanks but to send this is pretty spectacular," says Bettendorf resident Matt Mooney. "There aren't that many of those out there."
Mooney had a hand in the events which led to Trumbo's hospitality, which led to Tiger's generosity.
Mooney is a regular customer at Sports Fans Pizza and he knew Butch Harmon from his days as the golf pro at Crow Valley Country Club in the late 1970s. It was through him that Trumbo met Harmon, who now lives in Houston and fine-tunes the swings of the world's greatest golfers, Woods included.
It was Harmon who called Trumbo on pro-am day during last year's Q-C Classic and asked if he could set aside a special table for he and a few friends.
Harmon and his wife walked in the front door that night while Trumbo quietly ushered a tall, lithe, African-Asian-American youth in the back door.
The restaurant was overflowing with people with most of them watching local coverage of that afternoon's pro-am on the big screen televisions in the place. Everyone was watching Tiger, thinking Tiger, talking Tiger.
They could hardly have expected to see Tiger.
There was no way Woods could be totally incognito, of course. Mooney says he's sure some of the people at surrounding tables knew they had a superstar in their midst. But no one hounded him for autographs or pictures.
They just allowed the group in the corner -- the Harmons, Mooney, Woods and his boyhood pal, Brian -- to peacefully sip Dr. Pepper (with cherries in it) and munch down mozzarella.
"It's kind of a neighborhood place and I think people respected his wishes not to be bugged," Mooney says.
Trumbo later got a chance to come over and visit with the youthful superstar and his entourage.
"He was unbelievable, a great kid," Trumbo says. "For everything that had already happened to him by then, all the fame and success, he was really a down-to-earth guy."
It was a night to remember, kicking off what turned out to be a week for all of us to remember.
From a personal standpoint, Trumbo rates it was one of the two most special evenings in the 10 years he has owned Sports Fans.
There was another night a few years ago when the entire University of Iowa basketball team spent a few hours in his place watching an Iowa-Minnesota football game the night before the Hawkeyes played an exhibition at The Mark.
"That was pretty cool, too," Trumbo says. "But this was right up there."
And the flag from Augusta that arrived eight months later made it that much cooler.