x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Tiger Woods looking to get back in putting zone

The former world No 1 would win tournaments despite not being the best driver by relying on his putting game. His recent drought is down to his struggle inside the 150 yards.

Tiger Woods has struggle with his game inside the 150 yards in recent times. Brian Snyder / Reuters
Tiger Woods has struggle with his game inside the 150 yards in recent times. Brian Snyder / Reuters

Much has been made of Tiger Woods's deficiencies with the driver following his tame approach to last week's British Open, but his problems are not confined to the tee.

The new world No 2 has long had reservations about the most powerful club in his bag – his former coach Hank Haney's memoir of their time together was entitled The Big Miss – yet usually he had the short game to compensate.

At Royal Liverpool in 2006, Woods famously plotted his way around the testing links course with a one-iron, letting the driver out of the bag only once all week.

He found 86 per cent of the fairways during the tournament to win by two shots from Chris DiMarco.

What he sacrificed in distance, Woods more than made up for with an unerring accuracy with his short irons.

That was Woods pre-2009, however; the modern-day model is more mortal than machine. At Royal Lytham, from a position to strike going into the weekend, Woods repeatedly failed to get close from inside 150 yards, just like he did at the recent US Open, when he drew gasps from the Olympic Club gallery by missing the 18th green with wedges on Saturday and Sunday.

Two days of significant groundwork have been wasted the past two majors. Five top fives since winning his 14th is not enough for the once serial champion.

Until he gets back to being the greatest since Seve Ballesteros from inside 150 yards, Woods will continue to come up short.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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