At the Byron Nelson last Sunday, Aaron Wise won his first PGA Tour title and almost $1.4 million, but what he didn’t get — much to the amusement of TV and Internet observers — was a celebratory smooch. The 21-year-old was widely mocked for having apparently gotten shot down in his moment of glory, but he explained that it was just a case of getting signals crossed with his girlfriend.
“Yeah, I’ve been giving her some s— about that,” Wise said with a smile Thursday, while speaking with reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial, where he shot an even-par 70 to finish the first round tied for 61st. “A lot’s been made about that — it’s really nothing.”
Well, good to know that while Wise was definitely in the zone at the Byron Nelson, shooting a 6-under 65 Sunday to finish the tournament at 23-under and win by three strokes, he didn’t end up in the friend zone. He referred Thursday to comments he had previously offered to Golf Digest, in which he said that his girlfriend, Reagan Trussell, meant to surprise him at the 18th green after arriving at the course without his knowledge.
Wise told the magazine that Trussell “kind of hid around the golf course so I wouldn’t see her,” all the better to make his winning moment even more magical, at least in theory. “We were just all so shocked, she was excited, I was excited, and in the moment she was kind of telling me what she had to do so I couldn’t see it and for the moment to be the way she wanted, and I kinda went in for a little kiss there, and she didn’t even recognize it because she was too excited in the moment,” Wise told the magazine.
“It’s funny, we’re rolling with it,” he added.
Wise echoed those comments Thursday, saying, “She was just so excited to surprise me, and I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit, that she was shocked and she didn’t even see me go in for the kiss. No hard feelings at all. You know, we love each other a ton, and we’re great.
“So, it was a funny moment that I think we’ll always be able to look back at, but, I mean, that’s all it really was.”
One certainly hopes that when Wise looks back on that day, the first thing he remembers is his breakthrough triumph, one that augurs a force on the Tour for years to come, particularly given his second-place finish in his previous start, at the Wells Fargo Championship earlier in May. Only seven players have won a PGA event at an earlier age since 1991, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia.
Wise had won two professional events before, one on the Web.com Tour last year and the other on Canada’s Mackenzie Tour in 2016. That was also the year Wise won the NCAA singles title while leading his Oregon Ducks to the team title, after which he turned pro but not before meeting Trussell, also an Oregon athlete.
“It’s definitely kind of weird to see myself in the tabloids like that, but it’s all in good fun,” Wise told Golf Digest. “And you know, a first win is not supposed to go perfectly, so if that’s the only thing I messed up, I’ll take it.”
Read more from The Post: