Tiger must lose the driver to compete at Hoylake
By Bernie D'Amato under Tiger Woods


The only good coming from Tiger Woods’ return to competition at the Quicken Loans National is that his back seems to be holding up well after hitting a variety of shots. Woods needed nearly every shot in the bag because of a wayward driver, and he missed the cut by four strokes with rounds of 74-75 (+7).

Statistically, Tiger didn’t drive the ball too poorly at 57.14% accuracy (T53). However, he missed the fairways by a wide margin, which led to a GIR of 55.56% (T92). The only way to make up for a lackluster ball-striking week is to putt lights out, but Tiger’s short-game was also rusty. He finished 106th in the field for strokes gained putting.

What does all this mean for Woods?

Not much.

Successful golfers have a short memory when it comes to playing poorly. Tiger understands his game is a work in progress, and if his back feels good, then he should be motivated by his performance. He has a better idea of what to work on, and will be able to push his body as he gets ready for the Open with a vigorous practice schedule.

The Open Championship begins three weeks from yesterday. Woods won at Hoylake in 2006, and I believe he can do it again as long as he puts the driver away, and sharpens his short-game.

–Bernie D’Amato