As Dan Hicks famously said after Woods sunk a 12-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the 2008 US Open to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate, “Expect anything different?”
“There’s no way Woods’ game will be ready for the Masters.”
“There’s no way Woods’ will have the mental game to perform at a major championship after the scandal.”
“Woods will be heckled and ridiculed everywhere he goes.”
“Woods will probably miss the cut.”
These were some of the foolish predictions circulating in the days, weeks, and months prior to yesterday’s opening round of the 2010 Masters.
As Muhammad Ali said to a reporter after he lost to Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden and was then told that Frazier said there would be no rematch, “Oh, how wrong you are!”
Woods came out yesterday afternoon at Augusta and played like, well, Tiger Woods.
Standing ovations replaced all of the predicted heckling.
300-yard drives and precision iron play replaced all of the “rust” people had so confidently predicted we’d see on Woods’ game.
Two eagles replaced all the nerves that people predicted would overtake Woods during his first round back in action.
And finally, his opening round score of 68 was more or less a “go to hell” statement made from Woods directly to all of his doubters.
When you take a moment to really think about it, why would anyone have expected anything different?
When has Woods not overcome the odds?
When faced with adversity, when has Woods not come out on top?
When has Woods ever not succeeded in going out, making a statement, and proving his critics wrong?
It has long been said that history has a tendency to repeat itself, and Woods’ history over the past 13 years of his career pointed to only one logical outcome—an opening-round 68 in tough, windy conditions at Augusta National.
You’d think that most people would have learned their lesson about betting against Woods after he won the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg.
However, much like our business, political and social leaders, many simply forget about history when attempting to predict the future, which, as we have seen time and time again, is a foolish mistake.
For the top-five stories from Thursday at the Masters, check out The Tour Report.