The Reason for Tiger’s Putting Problems…Coffee?
By Stephanie Wei under General

With all the clubs Tiger threw this year, it’s surprising he never launched his putter into the bushes more often than he did. He ranked 21st in Putting Average, a drastic drop from 2007 and 2008, where he finished 3rd and 4th, respectively.

He acknowledged his crappy putting stroke many times throughout the season. Remember the U.S. Open? “As well as I hit it all day and to miss that many putts, I’ve missed them all week, so that’s just the way it is.” Ditto for when Y.E. Yang shocked everyone and took him down at the PGA Championship. And Liberty National’s finicky greens? “Not too many golf courses that you misread putts that badly. This golf course is one.”

In a radio interview on Monday, Charles Barkley imparted some words of wisdom for Anthony Kim given the recent controversy surrounding AK’s late night recreational activities by revealing the secret to Tiger’s success:

Tiger won’t even do caffeine the week of a tournament. He thought that it screwed up his putting stroke. You know how sometimes caffeine has got you jittery? I mean just simple stuff like that.

A month or so ago I was chatting with a player about Tiger’s poor putting. Coincidentally enough, he mentioned that he had seen Tiger drinking ample amounts of coffee during the frequent rain delays at the U.S. Open. Now he couldn’t tell whether Tiger was chugging regular or decaf, but he noted that prior to this season, he had never ever seen him touch the yip-inducing beverage.

Again, at Liberty National, he observed Tiger drinking coffee. (Only once, though.)

Tiger’s seemingly impervious to anything rattling him off his game — he could probably drop acid right before the first tee and still play better than half the field. But if anyone wants to get the edge on Tiger for next season, slip him some caffeine pills in his water or Gatorade.

[h/t Geoff Shackelford]

[Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]