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Buffalo's Valentino Dixon predicted Tiger Woods' win, right to Woods' face

Buffalo's Valentino Dixon spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

A major reason he is now free can be traced back to 2009, when an Attica prison warden requested that the artistically inclined Dixon compose a drawing of a photograph of the 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club.

Dixon did more golf artwork, which led him to write a letter to Golf Digest, which did a story in 2012 on his artwork and his effort to prove his innocence. That attention ultimately helped lead to Dixon's being set free Sept. 19, 2018.

This past weekend, Dixon got to see Augusta National Golf Club, in person, for the first time.

Along the way, he met a who's who in the sport, spending quality time with Jack Nicklaus and even sharing a moment – and a prediction – with Tiger Woods on the eve of the tournament.

After Dixon posed for a photo with Woods and golfer Brooks Koepka, Dixon turned to Tiger and had a short exchange.

"You're my hero," Dixon said to Woods. "You're going to win this week, too."

Woods said, "I sure hope so," smiling and saying that he'll have to look out for Koepka – who ended up finishing second.

Here's video of his prediction to Woods, which Dixon originally posted Wednesday. Dixon shared it again Sunday evening after Woods stunned the sports world by winning his fifth Masters title, his first major championship since 2008.

Dixon's whirlwind experience at one of the most storied courses in golf was chronicled by Golf Digest reporter Max Adler. Adler was on the receiving end of Dixon's first letter to the magazine and wrote the initial attention-getting story on Dixon, advocating for his freedom along the way.

Dixon's first stop last Wednesday was the famous Amen Corner, where the par 3 12th hole is the middle stop of the course's signature three holes.

Afterward, he met with golf greats and current players in the media center, including Woods and Koepka.

On Thursday, after Jack Nicklaus participated in the ceremonial tee-off with Gary Player, the two greats were part of a news conference. Following that session, Nicklaus met with Dixon.

Adler wrote in Golf Digest, "There are guards and green jackets waiting to escort Nicklaus away after his press conference, but the Golden Bear isn’t making tracks. He wants to stay and listen to this man."

Nicklaus posted a series of tweets about his meeting with Dixon, which includes a video of their interaction. The timing of those tweets is notable and, as Adler wrote, leads one to believe that Dixon and his story left an impression on Nicklaus. The three tweets were posted at 12:30 p.m. Sunday – when the golf world is collectively consumed with the Masters' final round – but Nicklaus wanted his audience of 450,000-plus followers to learn about what he called perhaps his most memorable moment of his visit to Augusta this year.

With the help of his artwork, murder convict seeks freedom

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