Tiger Woods' Return: For Tiger, Since When Has Standard Logic Ever Applied?

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2010

SAN DIEGO - JUNE 16:  Tiger Woods celebrates with the trophy after winning on the first sudden death playoff hole during the playoff round of the 108th U.S. Open at the Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 16, 2008 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Just in case you haven’t realized it over the past 13 years, standard logic simply does not apply to Tiger Woods.

Standard logic would tell you that there’s no chance a 22-year-old would go on to win his first Masters (in 1997) after carding a 40 on the front nine of his first round.

Tiger Woods logic says that he not only wins the 1997 Masters, but he wins by 12 strokes.

Standard logic would tell you that it’s highly unlikely someone would break Old Tom Morris’ 135-year-old record for the largest margin of victory at a major championship.

Tiger Woods logic says that it’s not only possible, but it can be done at the U.S. Open, which is widely regarded as the toughest test in all of golf (Woods won the 2000 at Pebble Beach by a margin of 15 strokes).  

Standard logic would tell you that it’s probably not a good decision to restructure your swing after winning seven out of 13 majors between 1999 and 2002.

Tiger Woods logic says that he not only changes his swing, but he comes back as a more consistent player after the changes.

Standard logic would tell you that after Woods’ father Earl passed away in 2006 and Woods left Winged Foot looking dejected and uninterested in golf upon missing the cut, it would be highly unlikely that he’d win a major in 2006.

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Tiger Woods logic says that he runs the table on the year’s final two major championships (the British Open at Royal Liverpool and the PGA Championship at Southern Hills).

Standard logic would tell you that there’s not a chance Woods would win the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines—which at the time was the longest course to ever host a major championship—while playing on a broken leg. He may not even finish his first round without having to withdraw from the field.  

Tiger Woods logic says that he not only finishes his first round at Torrey Pines, but he wins the U.S. Open in an epic Monday playoff with Rocco Mediate, all while playing on a broken leg with a torn ACL to boot.  

Standard logic would tell you that after reconstructive ACL surgery and nearly nine months away from the game, Woods would need a good deal of time to shake off the rust in 2009.

Tiger Woods logic says that he wins his third event back, racks up six PGA Tour wins on the year, and finishes outside the top 10 just twice in 18 stroke-play events.

And now we come to the 2010 Masters.

Standard logic would tell you that it’s unlikely Woods will contend at the Masters. He’s been away from the game for four months, he's caused severe damage to his family, he’s gone through a horrifically embarrassing ordeal, he’s lost most of his sponsors, and he has yet to face the general public or the media. It would be a miracle if this guy didn’t completely break down at the sound of his first heckler.

But then again, since when has standard logic applied to Tiger Woods?

Mediate may have summed it up perfectly while speaking at the Transition Championship today in Tampa, Florida when he said, “Would an unfair expectation be for him to win the Masters [laugh]? NO!”

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