Tiger Woods has been a disaster this year. However, there is a good reason to think it is only temporary and according to Woods it is just about fighting through what he calls “the perfect storm.”
As he prepares for this week’s Quicken Loans National, Woods explained why changing his swing has been so much more difficult this time compared to previous changes. The reason is two-fold, starting with not being able to mask his bigger problems with a strong short game.
“I didn’t think it would take this long [to get back] because I thought I would have my short game earlier, which I didn’t at the very beginning of the year,” Woods told the media. “You can cover up a lot of different things when you are chipping and putting well. So a lot of my missteps throughout the years, when I’ve changed coaches and changed techniques, my short game was always pretty good.”
Woods game has indeed been awful at times this year. It was so bad that one of his ex-coaches, Hank Haney, speculated that Woods had the yips.
However, Woods’ short game was just one part of the bigger picture. The other one, one that is easy to forget unless Tiger is grimacing and holding his back, is that he is attempting to change his swing not long after having back surgery.
“Don’t forget, I came off back surgery,” Woods said. “I changed my golf swing and did a polar 180 and recovering from back surgery. You add those two together, it’s the perfect storm and I have had to fight through both of those at the same time.”
Woods’ back issues came into play as recently as February when he was forced to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines after just 11 holes. It was the third time in 12 months he withdrew from a tournament because of an injury.
However, the back issue appears to be gone.
Woods was emphatic when asked if there is anything physically that is hindering his game and whether or not he is in pain when he plays, answering with a smile, “no, not anymore.”
Now it is just a matter of getting his swing where he wants it to be, something Woods called “sticking with the process.”
None of this means we will ever see the dominant Tiger Woods again. But it does sound like we are closer to seeing the Tiger Woods who was ranked No. 1 in the world as recently as March of last year.
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