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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 132
ONLYlast week did I use this column to defend Tiger Woods' amateur- like form – in particular his yippy chipping – on display for all to see at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. I argued the former world No.1 should not be written off because of an out-of-form short game. That he would fight his way out of the black hole because, well simply put, he's Tiger Woods. Oh, what a difference a week makes. Fast forward seven days and the man who was struggling then is in dire straits now. Deactivated glutes (or whatever he wants to dress it up as) underpins a likely career- ending dicky back that refuses to leave Woods alone less than four months after he had surgery to fix the damn problem. Dire straits, I tell you. Once the Sultan of Swing, Woods' action has seen more changes than a David Bowie song in recent years, and all in the hope of him swinging his sticks pain free. So far, it hasn't worked. At least not entirely. At 39, some argue, he's no spring chicken. We know the biggest sign to a former dominant golfer he's ageing is when he consistently finds himself the first in the group to play his second shot. That is, he's being comfortably outdriven. Yet while you'd think it might be a problem for Woods considering the state of his shonky back, it simply isn't the case. Quite the opposite in fact. Woods averages 323 yards off the tee in 2015, so his new 'Coach Como' swing can't be all that bad. When his body is fine, he's more than long enough with the driver. Which leads me to the crux of the issue that everyone else seems to see and Woods refuses to admit: His swing isn't failing him the most – his body is. At the moment his body is in dire straits. While he is earning Money for Nothing right now, there's no doubt the 2013 PGA Tour Player of the Year would much rather be out there keeping us commentators quiet. Yet no matter who you are, Father Time eventually catches up with you and sometimes at breakneck speed, especially when your body has been put through the physical grind, the immense repetitious torque and the thousands of hours of dominance that Woods' has. Of all the injuries golfers fear, a recurring back complaint that stops you dead in your tracks must be No.1 with a bullet. And that's why I fear it won't be anything but a steep, uphill battle for Woods for what is left of his otherwise remarkable career. As it stands right now, his future is in dire straits. Dire straits. You might even say he's, So Far Away from being anywhere near a threat on the Tour anymore. One thing is for certain, though. Woods' next comeback would undoubtedly be his greatest hit. And I'd love to hear it. OTG the VIEW TIGER'S FUTURE IS DIRE. STRAIT UP. Woods' latest injury is becoming the soundtrack to the later years of his career. Chipping woes he can overcome. But a degenerative back? with Damian Shutie OTG Editor-in-chief FLIP IT & RIP IT. TM Introducing our first-ever front-to-back FLIPZONETM adjustable weight technology. Flip the weight forward for a penetrating ball flight that generates more roll. Or, flip it back for a towering flight path and carry those hazards that used to get in your head. Its two settings deliver the perfect distance and trajectory for your swing. GAME CHANGED Find which setting is right for your game at cobragolf.com.au/fly-z
OTG Express 131
OTG Express 133