While much of the focus was on Tiger and his meeting with the late Nelson Mandela in round one coverage of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, on the topic of his golf Tiger revealed he's very much in search of some much needed distance this off-season. And he thinks he's found it with a club switch.
Jason Sobel, reporting on Tiger's driver switch, reminds us that Tiger finished 49th in driving distance at 293,2 yards, ranking 49th on the tour.
After an opening 71 leaving him four shots back of Zach Johnson, Woods was asked about the new driver and while he won't admit he needs distance, it's pretty clear in his comments that the switch aims to have distance as the main improvement.
Q. How would you describe the comfort level with this new driver you have right now?
TIGER WOODS: It feels pretty good. You know, it's coming off probably a little bit faster. I drove it really well in Turkey, and I felt like I was on the right track of what I was working on, and drove it pretty well again today.
Q. Do you feel like you've got pretty good control with that? Do you move it a little better?
TIGER WOODS: I wouldn't say move it, but it's certainly getting out there. I think that the last driver I had, it was just a touch spinny. I think maybe I was probably 200 or 300 rpms a little bit too much, and I think we got it down a little bit and I was penetrating the ball into the wind a little bit better today, and it was a little bit better sign.
Meanwhile Sobel reports on first round leader Johnson meeting with his "team" at year's end to discuss how "we" could do better in 2014.
I know what you're thinking: Zach Johnson has a team?
“We had our end of the year summit, which is essentially a day and a half of discussion and formulating and planning and that sort of thing,” he explained. “I like doing that out here.”
One of the main areas where they discussed needing improvement was in par-5 performance. Perhaps ironically – or maybe by design – Johnson played the five par-5s at Sherwood Country Club in 4 under on Thursday, helping him claim an opening-round lead with a 5-under 67.