Before jetting to Akron for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger Woods, who was accompanied by his caddie Joe LaCava and girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, played a practice round at Oak Hill Country Club on Tuesday to prepare for next week’s PGA Championship. And he made it clear he thought the greens weren’t up to par, so to speak, according to ESPN.com.
“The greens are spotty, and it’ll be interesting to see what they do because they were running just under 9 on the Stimp [Stimpmeter],” Woods said. “They don’t have much thatch to them, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do for the tournament and how much they’re able to speed them up with kind of a lack of grass.”
“9 on the stimp” means they’re slow, relatively speaking. As we know, Tiger doesn’t like slow greens. Throughout his storied career, he’s had trouble adjusting to slower speeds, like over the weekend at Muirfield a few weeks ago for the Open Championship.
“There were so many positives, how well I hit it and how well I played,” Woods said. “Looking back on it, as I was saying on Sunday night [at Muirfield] with you guys, the only difference is I just didn’t get the feel of those greens the last few days, and I didn’t make the adjustments. That’s my fault for not making the adjustments. You’ve got to make the adjustments and I didn’t do it, and consequently I didn’t win the tournament.”
Regarding Oak Hill, Woods also said the course seemed longer than when he played it in the past.
“I just didn’t remember it playing as long as it did when we played it yesterday,” Woods said. “Granted, it always plays long when you don’t have the adrenaline flowing and it’s not a tournament situation. But I had my [yardage] book from the last time we played, and most of the times where I hit a 2-iron I was hitting 5-wood, and 3-wood is still 3-wood and driver is still driver.”
The last time the PGA Championship was held at Oak Hill was in 2003 when Tiger placed T39, his second-worst finish at a major championship as a professional.
The area endured a severe storm in the beginning of July, not to mention pretty crappy weather all year, which caused seven holes on the East Course to flood.
“They just don’t have a lot of grass on them,” Woods said of the greens. “So not going to push them now and save them for tournament week. And I’m sure by Monday they’ll get them up to speed. They’re looking to get them at around 12 and 13 [on the Stimpmeter], but you don’t want to do it for two weeks with how they are right now. Just save them for the week of the tournament.”
Note to Oak Hill’s greenskeepers: Better start clocking in that overtime!
(Photo: Carlos Ortiz, Democrat and Chronicle)