Tiger Woods, battling driver issues, fiddling with equipment before FedEx Cup Playoffs

August 22, 2018
The Northern Trust - Preview Day 3

Andrew Redington

PARAMUS, N.J.—Tiger Woods' performance at the PGA Championship has spurred belief that the 14-time major winner is close to returning to the winner's circle. That doesn't mean Woods' game is firing on all cylinders.

Woods' has battled accuracy issues off the tee throughout this career, but he's been particularly wayward with the driver this season, hitting just 55.43 percent of fairways in 2018 (175th on tour). While such issues were to be expected in shaking off the rust, the problem has worsened as the campaign progresses, finding the short stuff just 46 percent of the time in Akron and finishing dead last in the category at Bellerive.

Not helping matters is the importance of accuracy in three of the four FedEx Cup Playoff venues, starting this week at Ridgewood, which features some of the thickest rough on the tour schedule.

To help alleviate these woes, Tiger and his team are tinkering with his woods this week, adding a degree of loft to his driver and switching shafts.

"Yeah, we've been working on it, experimenting with different shafts and different lofts on my driver and 3-wood, as well," said Woods, who is making his first playoff start in five years. "Just trying to figure it out. Same thing with my 2-iron. Just trying different things. I've still got two more days and I'll still be monkeying around with a couple things and come game time we'll see what I go with."

While the 42-year-old has employed a Tensei Orange shaft in his TaylorMade M3 this year, Woods was using a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White Board on Tuesday and Wednesday. Woods also was fiddling with the M3's sliding weights, moving them in a forward position, at least compared to the setting he displayed at Bellerive, to decrease spin and trajectory.

Woods will be playing Ridgewood for just the second time in his career. At the 2010 Barclays, Woods managed a T-12 finish in spite of ranking T-43 in strokes gained/off-the-tee.