x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Rocco Mediate: Swing is key for Tiger Woods to get back to No 1

The golfer, who lost to Tiger Woods in a play-off for the 2008 US Open, says once Woods sorts out the physical side to his game, he will rise back up the rankings.

SAN MARTIN, CALIFORNIA // Rocco Mediate caused a stir in golf circles when he said he was "disgusted" with what is going on with Tiger Woods's swing, saying his physical motion is strong criticism of Woods's most recent coaches, Sean Foley and Hank Haney.

Mediate did not back away from his opinion yesterday, although he made it clear that few others are rooting harder for Woods to return to dominance. And he believes Woods will be golf's No 1 in the future.

"If he gets his golf swing back, that game's over," Mediate said. "Because he knows that once he figures out where his ball is going, it's over. He's already proved it a million - how many times? - 71 times, and 14 majors.

"If he can find his ball again, if he gets that club up where it belongs, trust me. He's not done yet."

Mediate said he has not spoken to Woods and did not expect to.

They are linked by their play-off at Torrey Pines in the 2008 US Open, where Woods made a birdie putt on the last hole in regulation to force extra holes, then beat Mediate in a 19-hole play-off despite playing with a shattered left leg.

Mediate appeared to contradict himself at one point.

He said Woods's problems are 100 per cent physical, and that his sole problem is the swing.

"He owns the mental side of it," Mediate said. "But on the physical side, here's what I would say. You can mentally think certain things in golf, but if you physically can't do it ... if the club is in the wrong place, the ball won't go where you're looking."

Later, however, someone asked about Woods beating him at Torrey Pines on essentially one leg. Woods made double bogey on the first hole three times during that US Open.

"And if you think about it, how did he win that event? Did he win it physically or mentally?" Mediate said.

"Think about what he did. I saw shots from that man at Torrey Pines that I couldn't even imagine hitting. But he just kept walking, whatever. That's greatness."