How to Be Like Mr Clutch

By Michael BreedJuly 1, 2009, 1:52 am
Was there ever any doubt? Anybody else, you’re saying they’ve got a chance to make a 16-footer on the 72nd hole of regulation (in the dark, no less) to win a tournament, but with Tiger, you know he’s going to make it. The man is the best player of all time, which not only makes him the best clutch putter in the game but the best clutch everything. He hit the perfect approach shot into No. 18 at Bay Hill on Sunday, leaving himself the perfect putt. It was certainly more manageable than the 24-footer he sunk for birdie on the same hole to win last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, although just as dramatic.
 
Tiger wasn’t at his best from tee to green this past week – he was 51st in driving accuracy and 50th in greens in regulation – but he was able to snatch victory away from Sean O’Hair on the strength of his putting game, which was remarkable. For the week, Woods averaged just 25.3 putts per round. He had a string of six consecutive one-putts in his first round and 11 one-putt greens on Sunday, many of the clutch variety. In addition to the tournament-clincher on 18, he sank a 25-footer for birdie on 15 and a 13 ½-footer to save par on 14 after burying his ball in the greenside bunker. And, had he not made a 25-foot bogey save on 18 the previous day, he would not have been playing in the final group with O’Hair on Sunday.
 
What makes Tiger such a clutch putter? No. 1, his routine is the same every time. It never varies. He takes a complete picture of the putt and visualizes what he sees before he starts his stroke. He’s not looking up for the sake of looking up. No. 2, he doesn’t hit until he’s ready to; if he’s not ready, he backs off. No. 3, he’s not afraid to hit the ball past the hole. Very rarely do you see Tiger leave a putt short. He hits his putts with enough speed to get them to the hole.
 
From a technique standpoint, he keeps his head virtually still through the stroke. It’s as if he’s seeing the putter go past him before he looks up. I call this “seeing the ground under the ball.” You do this, and you’ll strike your putts more solidly and keep them online.
 
Finally, he loves to practice putting. During most non-tournament weeks, Tiger is out there on the practice green twice a day, usually after a short game or driving session. Most golfers don’t practice putting enough and could take a cue from the game’s best putter: Practice!

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.