Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 3rd 2014 Contents A76
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, December 3, 2014
WINDERMERE---Tiger Woods is making his latest
comeback in golf with an eye to the past.
Equipped with a new teacher and a stronger body,
Woods said yesterday he is working on a swing that
incorporates previous moves that date as far back as
his amateur days. He referred to it as "new, but old,"
and the 14-time major champion will start testing it
this week against an 18-man field of elite players at
the Hero World Challenge.
How old were some of those videotapes he watched
of his previous swing?
"Actually, it s pretty interesting trying to find a VHS
recorder," Woods said. "I have a lot of tape like that.
Fortunately, my mom is of age where she has that
still in the house. So that was very beneficial to look
at some of the old tapes."
Otherwise, it s another new beginning.
This is the fifth time Woods has returned from
injury---the back, this time---over the last five years.
The breaks have ranged from four weeks to four
months. He last competed on Aug. 9 when he missed
the cut at the PGA Championship, ending the shortest
season of his career (eight tournaments) and the first
time he did not have a top 10.
Woods said he had enough time off to let his body
heal and to think about where he wants his game to
go.First, he split with swing coach Sean Foley, ending
a three-year relationship that produced eight PGA
Tour wins but no majors.
Woods said there was no reason to look back at old
swings at the time because he felt he was headed in
the right direction---three victories in 2012, and five
wins in 2013 in which he was voted PGA Tour player
of the year for the 11th time. Those two years were
relatively free of injuries.
He announced just over a week ago that he had
hired Dallas-based Chris Como as a swing consultant,
after longtime friend Notah Begay put them togeth-
er.Woods said he had a plan, and that Como was on
the same page.
"I was very surprised and very excited to see what
he felt my swing should look like, and should look
like going forward," Woods said. "Because that was
very similar to the vision I had."
Woods did not delve into specifics of his swing,
which he rarely did when going through an overhaul
with Butch Harmon, then Hank Haney and Foley.
"It is new, but it s old," he said. "I say that because
I haven t done it in a very long time. We looked at
a lot of video from when I was a junior, in junior and
amateur golf. ... And it was quite interesting to see
where my swing was then and how much force I could
generate with a very skinny frame. How did I do that?
How do I generate that much power? That s kind of
what we are getting back into it."
Even so, Woods concedes that age---he turns 39 at
the end of the month---has kept him from overpowering
golf the way he once did.
Along with four operations on his left knee, and
problems with his Achilles tendon in 2011, Woods
lately has been coping with back problems. He had
surgery a week before the Masters and missed two
majors. Upon his return in the summer, he had his
worst 72-hole showing in the British Open and missed
the cut in the PGA Championship.
"I ve gotten stronger. I ve gotten more explosive.
I ve gotten faster," he said. "I now just need to hit
more balls. But the body is good. I don t have the
sharp pain like I used to at the beginning of the year.
I don t have that anymore. I still have some aches
and pains, just like anybody else who is my age and
It took Woods about 18 months to work out the
big change under Harmon, and about a year to adapt
to changes under Haney. He won his first tournament
Woods returns with
an eye to the past
just over a year after working with Foley. He doesn t
know how long this change will take, although he
said the motor patterns are vaguely familiar.
"Am I game ready? Probably not quite as I would
like to be," Woods said. "How long does it take me
to get back into the flow of a round? Sometimes it
takes me a shot, sometimes it takes me three or four
holes after a long layoff. I don t know. We ll see on
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