As I watched my favorite golf tournament, The Masters, this week, it reminded me that life is often unfair. Sometimes it’s just down right cruel, and it was on display during the second round of the tournament.
On the back nine on Friday, Tiger Woods was making his move up the leader board as others were beginning to fade, and it looked like Tiger was going to take control of the golf tournament like he has done 14 other times so far in his career in major championships. He was playing well, hitting shots and making putts, and he came to the 15th hole tied for the lead.
After an errant tee shot, Tiger punched his second shot on the short par-5 back into the fairway to set up an easy wedge shot, and what happened next shocked everyone, including Tiger. With a pond in front of the green, Tiger crisply struck the ball with his 60-degree wedge, and he hit the shot so perfectly the ball hit the bottom of the flagstick and ricochet back into the water, a most unfortunate break. In the midst of the chaos as patrons expressed their disbelief at what just happened, Tiger made an illegal drop and wound up with a controversial triple-bogey 8 on the par 5. He never saw the lead again.
It’s amazing that sometimes in life, doing the right thing ends up in a bad result, and sometimes a good result comes when you’ve made a mistake. That’s life, and as the players echoed this weekend, that’s golf.
I was impressed with the way Tiger, and nearly every professional golfer, handles a bad break. Rather than dwelling on it, he kept grinding his way around Augusta National Golf Club, hoping to get back to the top of the leader board. It wasn’t to be this week, but his never give up attitude helped him finish 4th this week, and it will surely provide him with more opportunities to win in the future.
What a great lesson for us to remember as we head back to work this morning for another seemingly insignificant week. Life is unfair, and expecting it to be fair will surely disappoint. All we can do is make the most of every opportunity we have, realizing that we don’t have control over the outcomes, only our actions and the way we choose to respond to adversity.