Please release me: Putting tip helps Woods


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – At the Presidents Cup it was a putting tip from Steve Stricker. At the Chevron World Challenge it was a suggestion from swing coach Sean Foley. Say what you will about Tiger Woods, he’s proving to be a good student.

Both impromptu putting tips resulted in solid rounds, but at Sherwood Country Club it led to a second-round 67 for a three-stroke lead over K.J. Choi, and a six-stroke swing on the day over the South Korean.

Woods reverted to a putting grip he used as a junior growing up on southern California’s bumpy poa annua greens following Thursday’s round.

“Sean said last night, ‘Why don’t you go back to your ‘poa stroke?’” said Woods, who needed 27 putts on Friday and leads the field with a 1.50 putting average, well below his season average of 1.76. “It’s something I’ve done before and allowed me to release the putter head.”

Woods didn’t need much putting magic to coax in a 3-footer at the second hole for eagle, and he matched that score with another “3” at the par-5 11th hole. Even a watery double bogey at the par-3 15th hole, which he has played in 3 over for the week, did little to slow his climb to his second 36-hole lead in as many stroke-play events.