THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Tiger Woods said the death of Nelson Mandela was "a sad day for many people," especially those who had the chance to meet him.
That moment was 15 years ago for Woods when he was in South Africa for the Million Dollar Challenge.
"It's sad for everyone who got a chance to not only meet him, but I've been influenced by him," Woods said Thursday after the first round of his World Challenge. "I got a chance to meet him with my father back in '98. He invited us to his home, and it was one of the inspiring times I've ever had in my life."
Woods did not go into details of stories about Mandela that he has told many times over the years.
At the British Open this summer, when Mandela's health was failing, he told of walking into a living room in Mandela's home and feeling a presence he couldn't describe.
"It still gives me chills to this day, thinking about it," Woods said in July at Muirfield. "A gentleman asked us to go into this side room over here and, 'President Mandela will join you in a little bit. And we walked in the room, and my dad and I were just kind of looking around. And I said, 'Dad, do you feel that? And he says, 'Yeah, it feels different in this room.
"And it was just like a different energy in the room," Woods said. "We just looked at each other and just shrugged our shoulders and whatever. And maybe, I'm guessing probably 30 seconds later, I heard some movement behind me and it was President Mandela folding up the paper. And it was pretty amazing. The energy that he has, that he exudes, is unlike any person I've ever met. And it was an honor to meet him at his home. And that's an experience that I will never, ever forget."
Woods later paid his respects on Twitter.
"Pop & I felt your aura went we met, I feel it today & I will feel it forever. You have done so much for humanity..." said one tweet from Woods. It was followed by, "You will always be in my heart Mr. Mandela."