Tiger hopes new swing will ease knee stress


DUBLIN, Ohio – Tiger Woods again turned to social media on Tuesday to connect with fans ahead of this week's Memorial Tournament. After completing a practice round at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, site of next month's U.S. Open, Woods answered questions from the club on Google Plus.

Woods responded to questions from several social media services, fans connected into the multi-person webcam chat, as well as NBC Sports golf analyst Roger Maltbie and Mark Soltau, editor of Woods' website.

Some of the noteworthy exchanges in the half-hour session included:

Woods said he is working on a swing which prevents injury but allows him to perform at his best.

'I'm always trying to get a little bit better, but also, I'm trying to play around injuries I've had in the past,' he said in response to a question from Roger Maltbie. 'I'm trying to get a swing to ease that stress on the knee over the years, ... but also play at a high level at the same time.'

Woods responded to how he prevented incidents similar to what Zach Johnson experienced on the 72nd hole last week at Colonial. The eventual winner failed to replace his ball mark after moving in on the final green and was penalized two shots. Johnson won by one.

Woods said he marks his ball with a quarter, usually with the head side facing upward. If he moves his mark for any reason, he marks tail-side up as a mental cue to replace the marker at the ball's original resting place.

The 14-time major winner reiterated his love of competing.

'I love competing,' he said. 'That's my passion. I love being out there and mixing up with the guys and trying to beat all of them. That's the rush. That's the fun. It's much more fun when you're winning and not finishing 40th (as he did at the Masters and The Players Championship).'

Asked about his niece, Cheyenne, turning pro, Woods said, 'I'm very proud of her. She hit her first golf ball in the same garage I started, and to see her progress, and quite frankly grow up into a woman, it's exciting to see how she's changed over the years and matured as a person.'

Woods said he will not hit too many drivers at the Olympic Club because of the slopes around the course. His plan of attack will change, however, with the weather.

'It's just a golf course where you have to have an overall game plan, but you also have to be very flexible,' he said. 'Obviously, these conditions change here, playing so close to the ocean and how damp it is. The ball is not going to fly very far.'

He added, 'It was 49 degrees this morning, so it was very different from practicing at home in Florida. ... I had forgotten how cold it can get here.'

Finally, Maltbie asked Woods if there was an increased sense of urgency to win each major he plays so he can catch Jack Nicklaus.

'I figure it's going to take a career,' he said. 'It took Jack, what, 24-plus years to get it done. This is my 17th year into it. I've still got plenty of time. I just have to give myself the most amount of opportunities to win on the back nine on Sunday.'

Woods referenced Jack's 18 wins and 19 second-place finishes as a guide.

'He was there,' Woods said. 'He didn't win them all, but he was there.'