With the Open heading back to Hoylake next week, the comparisons are inevitable to Tiger Woods’ dominant performance there in 2006.
That year Woods hit driver only once, instead relying on a stinger 2-iron shot that flew about 200 yards and ran for another 75. His swing coach at the time, Hank Haney, recently told the Scotsman’s John Huggan that week was “far and away the best ball-striking tournament he ever had.”
“Considering the length of approach shots he was hitting on most holes, I’m not sure anyone has ever played better than Tiger did at Hoylake,” Haney added, according to the report.
Woods isn’t back at that level, not yet anyway, and he is coming off a missed cut at the Quicken Loans National, his first appearance since March 31 back surgery. Many thought it would benefit Woods to add a tournament between Congressional and the July 17-20 Open, but the former world No. 1 opted not to enter either The Greenbrier Classic or Scottish Open.
Haney has his own idea about what this absence meant.
“That he isn’t going to play competitively in the two weeks running up to the Open speaks to the fact that he doesn’t care as much as he used to,” Haney told the Scotsman. “Still, you can’t win if you don’t enter. Maybe he will catch lightning in a bottle. But I really think he is using the Open to get ready for the PGA at Valhalla next month. That’s a much more realistic target for him.”