Does Tiger Woods have the yips? Is he losing his mental edge with the putter on the greens? We used to think of Tiger as one of the best putters under pressure when trying to win a golf tournament. Now rumors are circulating about Wood’s having the yips with his putter or at least the putter is letting him down at the wrong time: during final rounds.
One example: During the final round of the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, Tiger was only four shots behind the leader in third place and paired with Phil Mickelson. Traditionally he has played very well when paired with Mickelson, but not this Sunday.
Instead, the putter let Tiger down at Pebble Beach. Let me correct myself. Tiger’s mental toughness was leaking oil in the form of badly missed putts. Does Tiger need a sports psychologist? He couldn’t sniff the hole from long distance and he jacked five putts from inside five feet to shoot an uncharacteristic 75 in the final round, all the while Mickelson was lighting it up on the green. Phil shot a 64 and charged past the fourth round leader Wi. Tiger must have felt he got lapped.
Maybe Tiger needs a reality check? Earlier in the week Tiger said he was hitting good putts, but not making his share. “I’m hitting good putts. I’m not displeased with my putting at all. I just didn’t hit the ball in the right spots to give myself the right looks. If we were putting smooth greens, it would be a totally different deal. I know I can put those in all day. But when you’re putting on these, you have to put the ball below the hole to try to be aggressive and take out some of the movement,” said Woods.
Is Woods making excuses by blaming the smoothness of the greens? Great putter think they can putt on any surface. I’m wondering if he is hiding from the truth of the matter… Hitting good putts is a good start, but you have to read the greens and hit them with the right speed for the putts to drop too.
Another clue Tiger feeds us about his putting form…
He’s admitted to tinkering with the short club. Is he too confused between his ears? When asked if he dad knew his putting stroke better than everyone and could fix it with one sentence, he agreed to adopting too many putting styles. “I go back to a lot of my dad’s teachings. I’ve written a lot of it down over the years, just from memory of what he used to teach me. I tried to do different putting styles under Butch and Hank, but when push comes to shove, I revert back. And when I have to make them, it’s a must make putt, I revert back to a lot of my dad’s teachings. It’s something I know; it’s natural, and it’s worked in the past,” said Woods.
You be the judge. Does Tiger have the yips? I don’t think so. But the putting errors multiply when he’s under pressure. I think that’s he’s had too many cooks in the kitchen. Translation: he’s adopted too many putting styles over the years because of the changes in instructors. When he’s under pressure, he reverts back to an older style of putting his dad taught him. This can’t be good for his trust in his stroke. And being stuck between two or three styles of putting can’t be good for his consistency. And that’s the problem in my opinion. Tiger, please call me so we can get you over the hump.