Jason Sobel - October 7, 2011


Looking at Tiger’s 1st round, he felt he hit the ball pretty well but not great and that his struggles can be boiled down to his putter. If he is struggling with the putter, he will continue to struggle in his overall game. Everyone talks about Tiger’s swing and his swing coaches but no one ever talks about Tiger’s short game and how he works on it. In fact, Tiger has admitted that he has neglected work on his short game in favor of his full swing. Tiger’s one short game coach was his father who has been gone for five years and while he can bring back past lessons, Tiger needs to work with someone else if he is going to improve. Patrick Cantlay seemed so cool and collected at CordeValle that he wondered if Tiger was at a disadvantage by being grouped with Cantlay instead of the other way around. On Twitter, he had agreed with an observation that Fred Couples and Yankees Manager Joe Girardi sound very similar to each other and then participated in a quiz to name that voice. He missed the two Girardi sound bites but got the Couples sound bites correct.

In his second visit on Friday’s Morning Drive, he began by noting how much scrutiny there is on everything that Tiger Woods does and then reminded everyone that he is only six shots off the lead and by no means out of it. He thinks the odds of Tiger winning this week is 5% or less and repeated that we should not automatically write Tiger off because of a first round 73 although he doubts that Tiger will win this week. Tiger says he prefers tournaments where the winning score is single digit under par but he tends to play better than everyone else when he plays on a course where there are a lot of birdies. Rickie Fowler is playing in South Korea with Rory McIlroy and Y.E. Yang and if he wins it would be good for him but not as good for him as it would be if he won on the PGA TOUR. He is 22 years old and a great talent who will win eventually and Sobel likened him to David Duval who also needed some time before he earned his first win on the PGA TOUR and then went on to win numerous times including big events. If Tiger wins this week, a lot of people will put an asterisk on the victory because it took place in a Fall Series event and not a regular FedExCup season win. Anytime you win, it is good on a lot of different levels and for Rickie, he may simply need to hoist a trophy to go to that next level. In the Bankia Madrid Masters, Elliot Saltman made his third hole-in-one on the 2011 European Tour and for the achievement, he won his weight in ham and he is 240 pounds. He then quoted a line from a Reuters reporter who said that Saltman will be able to dine out on his hole-in-one prize for some weeks.