Comeback Kid
Golf Digest South Africa|Aug 2018
Comeback Kid

If Tiger Woods is going to win again, the key might be what he’s doing here.

Ron Kaspriske
It the conclusion of this year’s Wells Fargo Championship, having competed in seven PGA Tour events, Tiger Woods ranked 206th on tour in fairway accuracy (51 percent). Early-season performances like at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he hit only 17 fairways in four rounds, contributed a lot to his ranking and aren’t indicative of what he should expect going forward, says Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher David Leadbetter.

“That’s why these photos taken early in the season are very interesting,” Leadbetter says. “There’s a lot to like here, but it was probably to be expected that it would take Tiger a few tournaments until he could trust this swing and feel comfortable with his new process. The more tournaments Tiger has played, the more comfortable he has started to look, hitting more fairways. Even the wild ones have plenty of power. And if you want to know why I think his driving numbers will improve, there is one thing in particular that stands out as the key to his future success.”

Before Leadbetter reveals what that one thing is, he offers a history lesson. Ben Hogan was a great player before and after a near-fatal car accident in 1949. But it’s not hard to determine on which side of his career he enjoyed more success. Hogan won six of his nine major championships after the car crash.

“Prior to the accident, Hogan had a fairly long swing with very aggressive lower-body motion and hip rotation,” Leadbetter says. “After the accident, his injuries prompted him to instinctively calm down his leg action and shorten his swing, which made it more efficient, repetitive and gave him supreme control over his shotmaking.”

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Aug 2018