Tiger Woods Ignores Dumb Distractions, Shows Why He's the Master

| by Alex Groberman

Memo to the guy who actually invested money in sending an airplane to heckle Tiger Woods at the Masters: It wasn’t that funny. Well, unless you’re somehow affiliated with the Los Angeles Lakers and have the power to grant courtside playoff seats. If that’s the case, then kudos on the hilarious Tiger Woods airplane prank.

For those who missed this particular segment of the circus that was Woods’ Day One Return to Golf, an airplane flew overhead yesterday with a banner that said:

“Tiger: Did You Mean Bootyism?”

The banner was meant to make fun of Woods saying he was coming back to his Buddhist roots to cope with everything that has been going on in his life.

You have to wonder if the purpose of the prank was to get Tiger off his game. Well, as this article is being written, Woods is two shots behind the leader at the Masters, and looks to go into the weekend in very good position.

No planes -- or trains or automobiles -- can distract the world’s number one golfer from putting up a strong fight for a jacket he feels is rightfully his. No critics who opened their mouths five months ago to start yelling, and haven’t closed them since, can get under his skin. No Tiger groupies/strippers/porn stars, including “Mistress No. 11” who appeared at the Pink Pony on Thursday in a green jacket that resembled the jacket awarded to winners of the Masters, can shake him.

On his first day at the Masters, Woods shot a 4-under-par 68, the best first-round score of his professional career. When all was said and done Thursday, he finished 2 strokes back of the leader, and 1 stroke behind Tom Watson, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Y.E. Yang and K.J. Choi.

He did it all with the crowd behind him, itching to see the man that gets casual fans to care about golf, inch ever-so-closely to winning yet another major.

Tiger spoke at the end of the day about the crowd’s reaction: “The people, I haven’t heard them cheer this loud in all my years here. So it certainly helped keep my spirits up because I was certainly missing a bunch of putts out there in tough conditions like that. It helps when you get the crowd like that.”

Oh, and for those wondering about the ratings, well, they’re up a 47% from last year. The Nielsen Co. said 4.94 million people watched ESPN's opening round coverage on Thursday. had over 300,000 more unique visitors to their Masters coverage this year than they did last year.

Woods just ended the day at 6 under par, two shots back of the leader, Ian Poulter.

It’s been said that when tournament leaders know Woods is creeping up on them and their number one position, they tend to start making stupid decisions.

If Poulter is looking for any ideas, he could always call up the bootyism plane guy or Mistress No. 11, I’m sure they have a ton of them.