Tiger Woods' ball-striking has been good enough to net five PGA Tour wins this season, including a pair of WGC titles and The Players Championship in May. As Woods looks to bounce back from a disappointing tie for 65th at last week's Deutsche Bank Championship, though, NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller insists that the current world No. 1 needs to diversify his tee-to-green game.
'One thing about Tiger is he's sort of one-dimensional with that cut,' Miller explained on a teleconference Wednesday. 'He basically used to hit little draws and high draws and a lot of straight balls, too, but it seems like everything has opened up and he's just basically trying to play cuts when he should be playing a draw.'
Bumped this week to the second spot in the season-long FedEx Cup points race, Woods is currently 17th on Tour in ball-striking for the 2013 season and 22nd in total driving. Despite the success Woods has experienced this year, Miller was clear on what changes he would propose if on the range with the 14-time major champion.
'If I was working with Tiger right now, I'd say, 'You've got to play back in your stance and square up and play a couple draws when you need it,'' said Miller. 'I don't see him hitting that really. I see him hitting a few of them off the tee, but not the irons like he used to.'
According to Miller, Woods' ability to execute a variety of shots and trajectories was once one of his strongest traits. More and more, though, he sees the world No. 1 relying upon a left-to-right shot shape with increasing regularity.
'Tiger has got those shots. You watch him warm up, he'll hit the nine shots,' the 66-year-old noted. 'But he goes to the course and he's just not using the whole repertoire, which is what he used to do and what set him apart, besides the short game, from the Tour and made him maybe the greatest player ever.
'Now he's basically playing more like everybody else on Tour,' added Miller, 'going with their primary shot and just they are afraid, 'Oh, I might miss it if I try to do this or that.''