MARANA, Ariz. – NBC’s Johnny Miller says Tiger Woods needs a win to bolster his confidence going to the Masters in seven weeks.
Golf Channel analyst Nick Faldo suspects Woods is “wracking his brain” to remember how he closed out tournaments.
Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee believes the combination of personal issues and a swing change provided the “perfect storm” in showing how large a factor the mind plays in winning golf.
Miller, Faldo, Chamblee and Roger Maltie weighed in on Woods and other topics in an NBC/Golf Channel teleconference Tuesday from the Accenture Match Play Championship.“Tiger just needs a win, the bottom line is that it could be the Hershey Bar Open,” Miller said. “He needs to say, `Hey, I can win again.' . . . He better win something before Augusta, because it's just too hard to go a couple years, or whatever it's going to be, to win at Augusta without winning. I’m not saying he can't do it, like Jack Nicklaus did winning the Masters out of nowhere in '86, but he needs a win.”
Woods tees it up against Thomas Bjorn Wednesday in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship. Woods hasn’t won in 15 months and Miller believes that's a factor.
“Tiger actually knew he was going to win before,” Faldo said. “There’s the ridiculous stat of him finishing off tournaments. Tiger knew he was going to win, and now he’s thinking he could win, and now he’s probably wracking his brain on how he made that happen because he’s feeling different with a new golf swing.”
Miller believes younger players are taking a fearless 'move over pal' approach to competing against Tiger, but 'I still think he can make the young guys eat their words, but he needs some confidence, quick.'
Woods has been saying he’s getting close with the new swing he’s learning under Sean Foley.
“Close in golf is like the difference between the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the South Rim,” Miller said.
But Miller said golf's nature is that with a “little tweak you can be on the other rim.”