Woods op­ti­mistic de­spite poor fin­ish

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

WIN­DER­MERE — Tiger Woods flubbed chip shots and suf­fered glitches on short pitches that would rile a 20-hand­i­cap­per, yet the 14-times ma­jor win­ner and col­leagues rated his re­turn to com­pe­ti­tion last week a suc­cess.

The 38-year-old Woods fin­ished tied for last in the 18-player Hero World Chal­lenge that ben­e­fits his foun­da­tion, but be­lieves the back prob­lems that side­lined him the past four months have been fixed as has his golf swing.

New swing con­sul­tant Chris Como and Woods have stud­ied video­tape of the free-wheel­ing swing of Woods’s am­a­teur days that gen­er­ated so much power and have got­ten him back to that, abandoning some of the tech­ni­cal ad­just­ments he adopted along the way.

“I think it looks bet­ter,” said old friend Steve Stricker, who was paired with Woods in Sun­day’s fi­nal round at Isle­worth. “I think he’s go­ing through it a lit­tle bit freer.

“He looks a lot bet­ter go­ing through the ball. He’s tak­ing a rip at it. He drove it pretty darn good to­day.”

Hank Haney, who coached Woods for six years be­fore a shift to Sean Fo­ley, who was dis­missed when Woods shut down his sea­son in Au­gust, also gave a thumbs-up to the new swing ac­tion.

“Am I crazy or is Tiger’s swing 10-times bet­ter than it’s been the last few years? De­spite his poor score,” Haney said on Twit­ter.

“I don’t care what Tiger shot to­day, some of his swings were his best in five years. Got to get that chip­ping fixed though, not good.”

Woods, how­ever, can­not ex­pect a re­turn to the win­ner’s cir­cle if he gives away shots as he did at Isle­worth.

He chun­ked chips with alarm­ing reg­u­lar­ity, some­times mov­ing them only a cou­ple of feet. Other times he bladed the ball, send­ing it scur­ry­ing way beyond the cup. Woods judged that his woe­ful short game was sim­ply part of the swing-change process and will soon be fixed.

“It’s a dif­fer­ent mo­tion. It’s a

Tiger Woods

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