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« Tiger Talk Alert: Golf Channel's State Of The Game II | Main | "What occurred in this case is not typical of the USGA's level of service to the golf community." »
Thursday
Feb232012

Tiger Assures Concerned Media Industry That Putting Woes Fixable "In About A Day"

Day two of the match play is complete and your sweet sixteen is set: Snedeker, Rory, Kaymer, Kuchar, Westwood, Watney, Hanson, Jimenez, Laird, Lawrie, Stricker, Mahan, Wilson, Dustin, Senden and Moon.

Thursday's AP match notes (in an itty-bitty font size) include items on Hunter Mahan's stunning 9 birdies in 15 holes, Dustin Johnson's rout, the Lawrie-Laird Scottish showdown and Hanson's easy win over Ernie Els.

Jim McCabe with round 3 predictions and tee times. Gary Van Sickle's day three picks. Alex Myers with his day three picks.

As for day two's most prominent loss, travel agents were overwhelmed by calls from media outlets trying to get their folks out of town following Tiger's defeat at the hands of Nick Watney. From Doug Ferguson's game story:

In what is becoming a troubling trend for Woods, he missed the birdie putt so badly that it never even touched the hole, giving Watney a 1-up victory Thursday in the Match Play Championship.

It was the third straight time that Woods, a three-time champion in this event, failed to get out of the second round.

"I didn't miss a single shot coming in, which is good. And that was fun, to hit the ball that well," Woods said. "Unfortunately, I just didn't make a putt when I needed it."

Woods missed three putts inside 10 feet over the last six holes, none more important than the last one.

Jeff Rude thinks Woods was partly a victim of Nicklaus's unpopular Dove Mountain greens.

The greens here on the Jack Nicklaus design are wild and hilly. They are tricky because of all the slopes and grain and valley effect. Figuring out a putt can be like taking a science exam.

Woods did not pass.

He missed seven putts inside of 15 feet, all but one for birdies. Five of the misses were in the range of 5-10 feet. The longest of the three birdie putts he made was 6 feet, on a 335-yard driveable par 4; the two others were tap-ins on par 5s. His longest make was on a 14 1/2-foot par save at the fifth.

“They’re hard to read,” he said for the second day.

They seemed to baffle him from start to painful finish. After a terrific drive and 188-yard approach shot at the 480-yard 18th, he missed an uphill 5 1/2-foot birdie putt that would have won the hole and extended the match.

Steve Elling observes that Tiger needs his A game to win these days.

In fact, if there's anything we've learned over the past 2 1/2 years, it's that Woods can no longer win with his so-called B Game. It's been a talking point for months, though mostly in the form of locker-room whispers, and it was underscored again this week when he barely escaped his careening, opening-round match with a 1-up win.

In fact, if he putts the way he has in his two PGA Tour starts -- which included missing five times from five feet or closer in the final round at Pebble Beach -- he's going to have trouble winning matches for pocket money at his home club in South Florida.

"I should be able to fix it in about a day," Woods said tersely.

Um, with all due respect, we're going on, like, three years. At least compared to what we've grown accustomed to seeing, anyway.

Robert Lusetich couldn't help but note the artistry of Tiger's post round analysis.

"I hit the ball well all day today. Unfortunately, I just did not make enough putts to extend the match."

This is his standard fallback position when there are bigger picture questions begging for answers.

Baffle his questioners with the minutae of mechanics.

But what does it all mean, Tiger?

Maybe not much?

Maybe it's just that he doesn't like this course — and he's not alone in that — and wants to get back to the comfort of Florida, where next week he tees it up at the Honda Classic?

Maybe being back on Bermuda greens is the elixir?

Thursday's highlights:

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Reader Comments (35)

has nothing to do with mechanics, and it's nothing new, el tigre hasn't made a meaningful putt since 2009...long time ago...the pobre cito can no longer make them in the clutch...and it's not going to magically come back...
02.23.2012 | Unregistered Commenterg_r_c
From Steve Elling article:

""I should be able to fix it in about a day," Woods said tersely.

Um, with all due respect, we're going on, like, three years. At least compared to what we've grown accustomed to seeing, anyway."


Bingo!!!!! Nice article by Steve here............
02.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
I think he may be able to fix it. What I don't understand, however, is if he needs to feel the toe of his putter swing, why doesn't he change his type of putter? Wouldn't a blade (or an anser style with a different neck) help in that regard?
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoose
"I think he may be able to fix it."

There is no fix for the yips...once you get the yips, they are with you for life...like herpes.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
Are there any really great desert courses, from an architect's viewpoint? It seems that many of them have the tricked-up undulating greens, rock piles in the fairway, etc. These courses just appear so unnatural, which they have to be, given where they are built. Are there some which are considered great designs?
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commenterwide right
He hasn't got the yips ... yet ... but he has lost confidence. Doncha just love the way he puts his putting woes down to mechanical issues only though.
How come jack did not put a cactus in the middle of a fairway at dove mountain?

Tiger needs a face balanced putter and change his stroke to a straight back and thru. He thinks like a robot thus he needs a robot like stroke.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterA3
Tiger doesn't have his mental game back yet. Mechanics is an excuse.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoey
A factor could be that since he lost his leverage with Nike and has to play their equipment he cannot find the feel that he had with Scotty's putters.
While Dove Mountain may not be some guys favorite course, it's irrelevant and quite frankly I am sick of hearing about how so and so doesn't like this course....blah blah. 99% of the golfing public would love to tee it up at Dove Mountain and for that matter have a wonderful vacation in the desert with beautiful weather during the month of February. The greens are tough, but everybody is chipping in from miles away and everyone is making putts from everywhere, except Tiger. Must be Jack's fault. Since when did tough to read greens become a slight on the course? Pinehurst # 2 has tough to read greens, Pine Valley's greens are tough to read. I found St. Andrews green quite tough to read, as well Augusta has some greens that reportedly are tough to read, some say you need to play the course for a lifetime to really get them figured out. I find Royal Dornoch's green quite tough to read......
They all play the same course. Learn to like it, or learn to go home early.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Fixable in a day? Well, he had eight days between his stink-out putting performance at Pebble and the start of the Accenture.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHole-in-Three
All Tiger all the time!!!

This is a lot of coverage for the 20th ranked player and someone defeated in the 2nd round.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJSS
Don't whine about the font size, there's a text size button right there at the top of the text box. Two clicks and I can read it without my bifocals.

Back on on topic, Tiger said he's shutting it going back, which is almost impossible. I suspect it's just not opening as much as it used to and then his feel is messed up. To me that sounds like a problem of steering the stroke instead of letting it flow.

And that's mental.

K1P
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commenterkenoneputt
Why did TW switch to the Nike putter? Does anybody really know, besides the talk at the Open about slow/fast greens and such? We haven't seen the Scotty for awhile (that I recall). I'd be surprised if it's for contractual reasons, since the entire rest of his bag is all Nike.
Phil Knight: Look Tiger, from now on you're going to have to wear these shoes AND use this putter.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHole-in-Three
Has there ever been an athlete let alone a golfer who didn't blame something other than himself for a poor performance? That's why they're different. Other than Johnny Miller I can't think of any high-level player who admits they lost their nerve. Why would Tiger be any different?
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
He might be able to win with the aforementioned B game if he's putting well, but he's pretty much shoving or hitting the ball with the flat stick. He's lost his stroke.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
"The greens here on the Jack Nicklaus design are wild and hilly. They are tricky because of all the slopes and grain and valley effect. Figuring out a putt can be like taking a science exam. Woods did not pass."

It would appear that those who moved on were not baffled by the greens,

"Why did TW switch to the Nike putter?"

To paraphrase the great Tammy Wynette - A-L-I-M-O-N-E-Y (sic)
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMainuh
It's possible to win with your B game if you're putting well, it's possible to win with your A game if you're not putting well. But right now Tiger isn't good enough from 125 in to win unless he's putting well.

Contrary to Lusetich's opinion he did putt well on Sunday in Abu Dhabi (just not on Thurs, although he wasn't giving himself 5ft it was more like 15ft again wedge game is off). But this is now 3 bad putting rounds in a row. I would suggest he spend less time on driving range and more on putting.

And just bc the greens roll better than your local course doesn't mean they aren't silly.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
He played well.
He putted poorly.
He lost a close one.
End of story.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
I never thought I'd say this, but it is becoming painful to watch tiger play golf.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRub the grundle
Well said Stanley T. Slam the trunk and on to his next scheduled event for TW by way of the practice green.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGus
The Longest Day.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Tiger haters enjoy it while you can because he is on the verge of absolutely destroying some fields and winning four or five straight. Put that in your pipe and smoke it pikers!!!
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commenter5th Street
<< Tiger haters enjoy it while you can because he is on the verge of absolutely destroying some fields and winning four or five straight. Put that in your pipe and smoke it pikers!!! >>

Ah....my favorite: predictions from an uninformed nobody. (Oh, but nice use of a cliche that hasn't been uttered since the 1950's.)

Another Fearless Forecast based on the gossamer promise of exactly WHAT EVIDENCE?
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBenSeattle
Perhaps he should consider taking that day and fixing it.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCapSize
Elf and Stanley, thanks for inserting some objectivity into the discussion. There seems to be little representation from the center on this site -- everyone is either far left or far right on Tiger.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoose
I am hoping for a Peter Hanson v. Sang-Moon Bae final...that should send the NBC/Golf Channel haircuts into full panic mode.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
I keep seeing snarly cracks in articles -- and now from you, rb -- to the general effect of "who is Peter Hanson?" I'm going to suggest a few of you try finding out. He was, after all, 7th in the US Open last year, and he was on the winning Ryder Cup team last time, too. You may be seeing quite a bit more of him, no matter what happens in Tucson. Those US Open results have been better every time he was in it.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCapSize
5th St,

I think you jest but if not, please put the crack pipe down.
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commenterd.b.cooper
awesome, capsize, thanks for the inside info...as far as actually giving a crap about him, considering he's won nothing...you'll have to bark up another tree, cause this one's full of people who think tiger woods is still relevant...
02.24.2012 | Unregistered Commentergreg c
"snarly cracks in articles "

My snarlyness is directed to the golf TV networks...who cringe when they lose the "big stars"...ratings plunge, advertisers whine, talking heads are at a loss for words. I am well aware of Hanson's game and will enjoy watching him play and wish him well. As for Bae, he is actually one of my early Masters picks. Both men can play...but the golf media has made individual "star power" more important than the game. I grew up believing the game was more important than the players.
02.25.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
As it would take less than a day for Tiger to secure a belly putter, maybe this is what he is talking about.
02.25.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
If you love golf I hope you know about the Mayakoba Golf Classic. It's Mexico’s only PGA TOUR event and it airs on the Golf Channel from February 23-26! Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to stay in the loop of this exciting tournament. http://bit.ly/xElylv
02.25.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfred

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