My dad passed me an article about Tiger in about 1991 or 1992 and said "They say this kid will be better than Nicklaus." That was the first time I had ever heard of Woods.
I think the expectation has always been he might win 19 majors. For me, his early years weren't about winning 19 majors as much as trying to win the calendar grand slam. Especially in 2000, he was winning everything heading into the Masters. I don't think they should have made his entire career about catching Jack, if he wins 14 or 16 majors, that shouldn't be considered a failure. They did however make it a chase from the day he turned pro if not the day he won his third consecutive US Amateur or even earlier.
For me, if Rory had shot 72 and finished 2nd or so at the Masters, then followed with his big US Open win, that wouldn't have impressed me nearly as much as rebounding from a choke. He looked very shaky from the first tee. That rebound was when I thought "Hey, this kid is for real!" I became aware of Rory when he was about 15 or 16 and noticed a steady upward trend so I always felt the pundits were correct about him but that rebound escalated my belief from Rory being a good candidate to have a good career to somebody who can be the most successful European golfer ever.
His PGA win also reminded me of Garcia losing to Harrington a few years ago at the British Open. The field played well and you sensed the pressure transferred from the field to Garcia early. The field played well vs Rory, in particular Poulter but I never got the sense that the pressure transferred to Rory. Over here a lot of Tiger fans want Rory to choke and he must know that, so to withstand that kind of pressure I think shows his fortitude. Remember it was still close when Rory entered the back nine. I think he has a chance to win 8 majors and hopefully 10 and I'd bet he's the next guy to win the career grand slam which I think is consistent with the predictions I've heard about him since he was 15 or so. They just seem to know how good certain athletes are from a very young age.