Two Tiger Woods fans embark on Red Bull-fueled hell ride to Merion

Tiger Woods. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Zach and Max were a few Red Bulls deep by the time they hit the merchandise tent. Well, Max was. Zach was still running on mostly pure adrenaline.

“I’ve had half a Five Hour Energy and that’s it,” he said. “Thirty-five hours awake, I’m rocking and rolling. Did the whole drive myself.”

His body has written a check for a mere two and a half hours of energy, yet his boisterous conversations can be heard across the merchandise tent, and his rapid gesticulations are infectiously energetic.

The drive in question was from Leominster, Massachusetts. A trip that twists through a series of national forests and empty fields, spearing straight through the heart of New York with a brief stretch on the tip of the Atlantic. It required of them six hours, a steadily injected caffeine dosage, and a rather singular purpose.

“We’re here to see greatness. Tiger Woods, man,” Max said.

The two friends are "battling,” as Zach explained. “I play in the rain, I’ll watch in the rain.”

Zach will be volunteering himself in the coming weeks when the Deutcsche Bank championship comes closer to his area. But their refusal to be thrown off by the rain, or the crowds, or the mud, or the lack of Tiger until his 4:44 p.m. tee time, or the less than enthusiastic woman ringing up their hat purchases, is admirable.

As is the optimism.

“She was asking for my phone number, man,” Zach said after an exchange with their cashier. “Don’t let her fool you.” has complete coverage of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.