News & ToursJune 27, 2014

If Tiger wants to start winning again, he really needs to hit more greens

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

In his first tournament back from injury, Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Quicken Loans National. It's not really fair to judge him based on that alone -- the man did have back surgery, after all -- but that doesn't mean we can't learn from his performance.

With that in mind, here are some of his key stats from his two rounds at Congressional:

               __ROUND 1__     __ROUND 2__     __TOTAL__     __RANK__     __DRIVING ACCURACY__  64.29%  50.00%  57.14%  T-53    __DRIVING DISTANCE__  299.6  302.3  300.9  44    __LONGEST DRIVE__  332  317  332  T-88    __SAND SAVES__  --  --  --  T-99    __GREENS IN REGULATION__  55.56%  55.56%  55.56%  T-92    __STROKES GAINED PUTTING__  -1.741  -0.843  -1.292  106 

As we noted on Thursday, Tiger's iron play was significantly worse at Congressional than in 2013, when he was among the best on tour. That trend continued on Friday; he hit just 10 greens once again to finish T-92nd in that category for the tournament. To put that in perspective: when Tiger plays his best, he usually hits somewhere between 12 and 14 greens per round.

Although he improved by almost a full stroke on the greens on Friday, his putting is also a slight concern. But the good news is that number will improve the better his iron play gets, because he'll be placing himself in better positions to make more putts.

There are positives Tiger will draw from his first competitive round back from injury, among them the knowledge that -- now that he's pain-free -- improving his iron play offers him a clear route back to the top of the game.

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