Woods scrambles to make weekend at Muirfield

By Rex HoggardJune 5, 2015, 10:45 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – Good news first.

Tiger Woods has largely eliminated the two-way miss, at least for one day at the Memorial.

Now, the bad stuff.

The right side of Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village isn’t sprawling enough to handle a tee ball that for 36 holes has found exactly nine fairways.

For the second consecutive day, Woods put on a grinding exhibition, missing the fairway – to the right, of course – on three of his first five holes only to play that stretch in 3 under and move himself into red figures for the first time this week.

Like Thursday, it was a putting and chipping clinic, with the 172nd-ranked player in the world one-putting his first five holes on his way to a front-nine 33, the same number he had on Thursday after he’d posted an outward 40 on the back.

Throughout all the wheat and chaff, however, Woods managed to gain ground on the leaderboard, to say nothing of his dogged pursuit of a more consistent swing.

“Obviously displeased with the way I drove it. I didn't drive it very good again. I kept spinning the ball. I have to go fix that,” said Woods, who carded a second-round 70 to vault 21 places up the board and into a tie for 64th to make the cut on the number.

While he continues to fine-tune an action that is still very much a work in progress – he spent more than an hour on Thursday working with swing consultant Chris Como – he has pared down his waywardness to only 50 percent of the golf course.

You know the deal, baby steps.

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Of the nine fairways he missed on a hot and humid day, six of those foul balls were to right field, which is progress by any measure over the two-way miss that haunted him Thursday.

“I feel like today I made some progress from yesterday, and now I need to go work on it again, and I'll make some progress tomorrow and keep doing that, and hopefully it will all come together this weekend,” he said. “If not, two weeks from now [at the U.S. Open].”

It was just as encouraging for the five-time Memorial winner that he was able to play the closing nine, historically Muirfield Village’s more difficult loop, in 1 over par, three strokes better than Thursday’s 40.

Still, all drives considered, there is work to be done. Considering that for two days at Jack’s place, Woods has gained 5.3 strokes on the field with his putter but lost 5.7 shots in strokes gained-tee to green.

His short-game magic included birdie putts from 33, 22, and 18 feet at Nos. 1, 2 and 4, 18 feet on No. 12 and a highlight-reel 29-footer from off the green on No. 14 for his last of the day.

“The putting was great today. I had a great feel for the pace. Even the putts I missed had that kind of go-in look, and they were right around the hole,” said Woods, who needed to make a 5-footer for par at the last to secure his weekend tee time after late bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17.

After Round 1, Woods was asked about the differences in his swing since he first start working with Como last fall.

“No, it's different. It's just different,” he said. “I'm moving off it, yes, but it's just different.”

On Friday, many Tour swing types echoed that sentiment, pointing out that his driver swing included much more lateral and vertical movement than the one he had on display at last fall’s Hero World Challenge, which some opine is leading to his poor driving.

It’s worth noting that this is the second consecutive event Woods has had to grind over a putt on his 36th hole to advance to the weekend. This week is also a far cry from his performance at Muirfield Village in 2009 when he put on a driving clinic, going 14-for-14 on Sunday from the tee and missing just seven fairways all week on his way to victory.

Following his scrum with reporters after his round, Woods bolted the scoring area, asking an official, “Which way to the range?”

There is still plenty of work that needs to be done.

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Woods: New putter should help on slower greens

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:35 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods’ ice-cold putting showed at least a few signs of heating up earlier this month at The National, where he switched putters and ranked seventh in the field on the greens.

The mallet-style putter is still in the bag as Woods prepares for The Open, and he’s hoping the heavier model with grooves will prove valuable at Carnoustie.

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“To be honest with you, I’ve struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said Tuesday. “So for me, it’s going to help on these greens, for sure.”

To combat the slower greens, Woods usually applied a strip of lead tape to his putter. But this heavier model of putter doesn’t need the extra weight, and the grooves on the putter face allow the ball to get rolling faster and hotter.

“You don’t necessarily have to do that with the grooves,” he said of the lead tape. “When I putted with the Nike putter, I didn’t have to put lead tape on the putter to get a little more weight to it. I could just leave it just the way it was. This is the same type.”  

For all of the talk about his putting woes this season, Woods still ranks 56th in strokes gained: putting. More crucial this week: He’s 102nd in approach putt performance, which quantifies how well a player lag putts.

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Woods: Open best chance for long-term major success

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:26 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods is more than a decade removed from his last major title, but he said Tuesday that The Open is the major that gives him the best chance for long-term success.

“I would say yes, because of the fact that you don’t have to be long to play on a links-style golf course,” Woods said during his pre-tournament news conference. “It certainly can be done.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Woods pointed to the late-career success for both Greg Norman (2008) and Tom Watson (2009), both of whom challenged for the claret jug deep into their 50s.

“Distance becomes a moot point on a links-style golf course,” he said.

That’s certainly not the case, however, at the Masters, where bombers long have thrived, or the U.S. Open, which places a premium on long and straight driving.

“You get to places like Augusta National, which is just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately,” he said. “But links-style courses, you can roll the ball. I hit a 3-iron that went down there 330. Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance.”

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"Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 17, 2018, 10:15 am

Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie

Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open

To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.

“It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”

Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:

  • Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
  • Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
  • A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.


“This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like

that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange


“I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico


Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 am

Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.