Be Wary of the Cold Air


Both Tiger Woods and Sean O’Hair admitted to mis-clubbing late in the final round on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, just after the sun went down. Woods’ 4-iron on the par-3 17th was “flushed” but wound up burying under the lip of the bunker, leading to a bogey which dropped him back into a tie for the lead with O’Hair at 4-under par. “I hit it perfect, and it obviously didn’t carry,” said Woods.
O’Hair’s miss may have been more pivotal. Standing in the fairway on the difficult par-4 16th, his approach shot ballooned on him and found the water, leading to a bogey and dropping him a shot behind Woods. It was quite a turn of events, considering that Woods’ tee shot on 16 found the rough and he was forced to lay up. Yet, it was Woods who picked up a stroke on O’Hair.
“It still should have carried [onto the green],” said O’Hair. “But I think what happened was the sun was going down a little bit, and the ball wasn’t going quite as far. It was a stock 7-iron that I hit solid and didn’t get there.”
O’Hair took one more club off the tee on 17 and for his approach shot on 18, and Woods did the same on 18, playing a cut 7-iron from 160 yards “because the ball wasn’t flying.”
What you can learn from this? Simply, be aware of the fact that when it’s colder outside, the ball won’t compress as much and travel as far, so adjust accordingly. For most amateurs, it’s usually a good idea to hit one more club into the green anyhow. This just serves as a good reminder.