Baker-Finch identifies Tiger's problem: 'Fear'


It's not his back. It's not his swing. It's not his wedge grind. It's not his glutes.

According to Ian Baker-Finch, Tiger Woods' real problem is "fear."

The CBS broadcaster was a guest on SEN Radio in Melbourne, Australia, and was asked, based on his relationship with Woods, if he would be inclined to "interfere" or intervene with some advice to help the 14-time major winner.

"I would love Tiger to just go play golf every day and stay away from the machines and the mechanics and the trying to be perfect," Baker-Finch said. "I'd like to just see him go play and shoot a score every day and enjoy golf again and maybe even learn to play again, if that's the right terminology. I think he's forgotten how to play golf. I think he's trying to play with a perfect swing every day, every time."

Asked to respond to Woods' troubles taking his game from the range to the course, Baker-Finch, citing some of the circumstances that led to his own decision to walk away from competitive golf, hit on the fear factor.

"I would hit 50 perfect drives on the range, and snap-hook it off the first tee," he said. "[Woods] does exactly the same thing. At the first tee at Augusta every year he’s so nervous he hits it 100 yards off line, and he’s just hit 50 perfect drives on the range. You can’t tell me that that’s a bad back, or a swing flaw. It’s totally mental. It’s a fear.

"And it's not the yips. It's not a spasm. ... It's a fear."

One week after posting the worst round of his professional career, an 82 at TPC Scottsdale, Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open just 11 holes into his first round, explaining that his back had tightened up following multiple weather delays.

On Sunday, the former world No. 1 dropped to No. 62 in the Official World Golf Ranking, his lowest position since his first year on Tour.