AKRON, Ohio – There was that missed cut at Turnberry, and when he answered with a 32-putt 71 in the first round last week at the Buick Open, it made Tiger Woods look as if he was standing still on a NASCAR track.
What followed was predictable – his swing was off, his game was a mess and one Michigan reporter went so far as to ask if he “had a swing coach,” a not-so-subtle swipe at longtime swing man Hank Haney.
All went right with the world, of course. Woods rallied and won the Buick for the third time and, truth be told, for all the handwringing from the masses, the world No. 1 seems to be pleasantly surprised with the progress of his game post knee surgery.
“If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year before I played any events if I’d have four wins right I wouldn’t have thought I would,” Woods said Wednesday at Firestone where he’s won his last three starts. “I just didn’t see it.”
As for Haney, a friend e-mailed an interesting statistic earlier this week. Dating back to the 2006 British Open, the year the two started working together, Woods has won 21 of 39 Tour events. That’s a .540 average and that’s Hall of Fame stuff, regardless of sport.