Tiger Talks Swing Shift, Neck, Etc.
By Stephanie Wei under General

You know the drill for a Tiger Woods press conference. He shows up. Reporters ask lots of questions. He says a lot without saying much, blah blah blah. He cracks dumb jokes. Everyone laughs. Still.

So, the point is, nothing has really changed aside from the occasional question about the stress of his personal life and the-awful-thing-that-happened-six-months-ago-but-we’re-not-going-to-call-it-his-sex-scandal-at-least-to-his-face.

For whatever reasons, I still tune in to watch the charade. I find them morbidly entertaining and occasionally I actually glean something new and thought-provoking. This morning I just wanted to hear him talk about his neck and how he’s still working on getting back in tournament shape because he’s only played nine competitive rounds so far.

So, no big surprises. His neck is feeling “pretty good.” He added, “Still not where I want it to be, but the inflammation has calmed down. I got range of motion again. It’s a little bit sore after a good hard day of practice, but I can recover for the next day, which is good.”

He just needs four Motrin before he plays, four after nine holes and four afterward. At least that’s my secret.

As for Hank Haney’s interim replacement? Video!

“That’s the great thing about technology,” said Tiger. “We can use video. That’s what I’ve been doing and been working on it that way.’

What’s he working on?

“Same thing,” he explained. “Club’s behind me, just like it was when I was working with Butch, just like it was when I was working with Hank. That’s just my fault, and that’s just one of the things that I tend to fall into. When a club gets out in front of me, I hit the ball pretty good, and I just need to get back to that.”

Yeah, thrusting his body at the ball probably doesn’t lend to getting the club in front as easily. But his swing looked much better in the skins game today — even if he was just messing around and having fun. It didn’t have that extra weird jolt that I was noticing at The Players and Quail Hollow, but I’m not a swing analysis expert. That said, it’s pretty obvious to anyone who has some working knowledge of basic mechanics.

I’m also glad to hear he’s working alone for now (or so we’re told). Sometimes it’s best simply to get back to the fundamentals without someone in your ear preaching their controversial swing theories. Just swing it. I mean, when it comes down to it, Tiger doesn’t need some big name, over-hyped guru — he just needs someone who understands his swing and keep an eye out when it gets a little (well, recently, a lot) off track.

But the real reason why I enjoy watching Tiger’s pressers? Because of moments like this:

Q. Tiger, in regards to the neck, it seems like you didn’t really understand what was going on with that. Sometimes you seemed to be maybe not as forthcoming with some of the information. Do you see that as a competitive issue, why you may not tell us exactly what’s going on with some of the injuries you have.
TIGER WOODS: You don’t need to know.


Tomorrow, Tiger tees off at 12:44 with Steve Stricker and Jason Bohn, who he was actually playing with before withdrawing at The Players. In the spirit of bad Tiger jokes, let’s see if he can “hit every shot forward” and his drives go “a little bit longer than the shot I hit at No. 7 at TPC.”