Tiger Woods’ win at the ZOZO Championship was a bit of a surprise if we’re being honest. Not only was it the inaugural edition of the tournament, it was Woods’ first start of the new season and first since his latest knee surgery.
While those are the factors we took into consideration in somewhat doubting Woods’ chances heading into the week, Rory McIlroy had an up-close and personal experience with Woods earlier in the week and he too even admitted that he didn’t see a win coming for Woods in Japan.
McIlroy joined Brad Faxon on his Sirius XM radio show on Monday and said he didn’t think Woods’ game was at a place that he could even contend at. When asked whether he saw Woods’ win coming, he had some interesting insight.
“Not at all,” McIlroy said, laughing. See, the Monday prior to the event, McIlroy, Woods, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama played the Japan Skins, and Woods simply didn’t look great.
“I mean, we were all a little tired, we’d just gotten there but I didn’t see it,” McIlroy continued. “I mean look, he’s Tiger Woods and everything and he does things that other people just can’t do, but from what I saw on the Monday I didn’t think that his game looked sharp enough to contend.”
“That was a pretty tough golf course, so to have that control of his ball like that, to shoot 19 under and win pretty easy in the end was awfully impressive.”
I was with McIlroy on this one. I didn’t see Woods contending at the ZOZO and didn’t list him within my picks to win. It felt like it was just an event he was getting paid to be at and he would finish somewhere around the middle of the pack.
Let this be a lesson about two things: one, golf is unbelievably unpredictable and two, never doubt Tiger Woods when he’s in the field, period.
Mark is a New York City-based writer and editor here at BroBible. Go follow him on Twitter @MarkAndHisWords.