I was in Las Vegas last week and did a double take when I took a glance at the Caesars Palace sports book. Tiger Woods was favored to win the Masters. I don't remember the odds, but what did it matter. Even with all that time off and all the distractions, Tiger was still favored to win the Masters.
I looked at my girlfriend and said, "I know you really don't care, but I can't believe Tiger Woods is favored to win the Masters." She didn't say anything, but she could tell I was amazed.
And here we are, after the first round of the Masters Thursday, and Tiger is only two strokes back of the leader Fred Couples. Tiger made two eagles to finish his day, the first time he's had two eagles in one round of the Masters.
If Tiger ends up winning this tournament, or even if he finishes in the top five, his performance would make a great example in a future psychology book. The elite athletes always are able to put aside distractions and produce an optimal performance. But Tiger is on another level.
I can't think of another athlete who's had his dirty laundry aired out more than Tiger. It's been ugly. Tiger just may be getting by on talent alone. Who knows what's going through his mind as he walks up to the tee. I'm sure he can't block out everything and I think that speaks more about his talent than anything else.