Presidents Cup 2013: Just Who Is This Carefree Tiger Woods?

Mike DudurichContributor IOctober 3, 2013

It was smiles and high-fives for Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.
It was smiles and high-fives for Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tiger Woods set a pair of records Thursday in the opening day of the 2013 Presidents Cup.

First, he won for the first 21st time in his eight Presidents Cup appearances, giving him a 21-14-1 record. That is the most wins for anyone in the 10-year history of the event. Certainly an admirable accomplishment, especially when you consider the quality of competition he’s faced over the years.

Second, and while you won’t find this noted in any official record book, anybody who watched the matches Thursday knew there were more smiles and much more of a carefree attitude than in any other event of Tiger Woods' career.

And the question must be asked: What’s up with that?

The man whom once dominated the game like no one ever had owned the most serious of game faces. If you asked him, I’m guessing most of the time Woods wouldn’t be able to describe two people in the gallery following a round.

The man is focused, dialed-in and determined once he gets on the grounds of whatever tournament he’s playing that week.

But, whoa, he didn’t look like any of that as he high-fived his way around Muirfield Village Golf Club Thursday.

He and Matt Kuchar came up with the idea to break into a celebratory high-five that was something of a lame imitation of one that took place on the 1990s comedy, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The gallery loved it, television commentators chuckled at it and, well, it was sorta weird.

Now the question before the house becomes: What does this mean?

As I see it, this outbreak of jocularity could mean Woods has depressurized himself completely since the Tour Championship and has come to the House that Jack Built relaxed and ready to have some fun with his Presidents Cup teammates. That would bode well for the American team, which has historically had its way with the Internationals.

But it could be that this was just a matter of it being easy to smile and have a good time when you're pounding your opponent. Woods and partner Matt Kuchar made eight birdies in the 14 holes they needed to dispatch Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman. Cabrera and Leishman could manage just one birdie in the match, leading to a lot of good times for the Americans.

Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods were dominant Thursday.
Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods were dominant Thursday.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It should be noted that after each of those six birdies, the duo broke into that Fresh Prince thing; although, if you are to believe Kuchar, Woods didn’t start any of that. Kuchar told the Golf Channel after the round, “That was definitely all me.”

If that were the case, that would be unfortunate. The golf world saw a different side to the man with the 14 major victories Thursday and it seemed to like it.