By John Strege
What’s wrong with Tiger Woods? It’s open to debate, and Golf Channel colleagues Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo had a spirited one on that issue Thursday evening.
Golf Digest’s Guy Yocom tweeted that it was “fiery and epic,” to which Fox Sports’ Robert Lusetich added, “and a long time in the making.”
Chamblee’s point is that Woods’ swing is responsible for his bad back and the results that have followed, including an opening-round 74 in the PGA Championship Thursday. Nobilo argues that it’s Woods’ bad back that is responsible for his performances. A condensed version:
“He’s not healthy,” Nobilo said. “I don’t think it’s lack of reps That’s not a guy who’s won 14 major championships. That’s not a guy who won five tournaments last year. So there has to be a reason to me. When he pulls out last week, when he’s had back surgery, I really don’t know how much evidence somebody needs. Graham DeLaet took 10 months to get over it. I just think four months is way too soon. The rest is just minutiae to compare this shot to that shot. To me to make a fair comparison you have to compare him to other people who have had similar injuries. It took him 10 months to get over it. I just think four months is way too soon.”
Chamblee responded by saying “it’s technical and the technical’s bleeding into the physical. He’s got so much forward shaft lean that he comes into the ball very steep. If you come into the ball steep that puts your path out to the right. To correct all those things and get those right he’s got to go to the left to zero out his line on Trackman.
“With a driver you can’t do that because you don’t have an effective enough loft to hit the shots you need to hit so you hit high blocks and pull hooks. To offset the loft going forward and aiming left you have to figure out how to get it up in the air. So you lean backwards. When you lean backwards all day long every single day for hundreds of shots you’re going to hurt your back.
“He’s got all these issues to figure out just to hit a shot straight. In the meantime, all of that is killing his back and and is killing his game.”
It’s worth watching in its entirely, this debate between the two most astute analysts that Golf Channel has.