LA JOLLA, Calif. – Tiger Woods says he and instructor Sean Foley have been on the phone every night this week.
Unfortunately for the world No. 3 and his coach, Woods hasn’t made the kind of progress he had hoped in his 2011 debut at a course where he’d already won seven times.
Sunday was a microcosm of his week at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He struck the ball well early but his scores got progressively worse (69, 69, 74 and 74). Sunday’s round included five bogeys.
Woods said he was “absolutely, absolutely” surprised that he didn’t play more consistently at Torrey Pines, where he had won the last five tournaments he played, including the 2008 U.S. Open.
“I can do it on the range, but it’s a little different when I’ve got to bring it out here and I’ve got to shape shots,” Woods said. “I’ve got to hit the ball with the right trajectory. These greens are not soft. So you can’t just hit any trajectory. You have to hit the proper trajectory. Then the wind’s blowing and it’s a lot.
“I’ve got some work to do, which is good.”
Woods, whose next tournament is two weeks from now in Dubai, says he is committed to the work he is doing with Foley. He knows from past experience there will be ups and downs, and you have to stay the course.
“But how else are you going to get better?” Woods said. “You’ve got to do it. It takes reps and it takes reps under competition. You can’t be afraid to go ahead and try it.”
Woods, who knows Torrey Pines as well as anyone, said he felt the South Course was there for the taking on Sunday.
“Granted, I shot a high number today, but it played that easy today,” Woods said. “We didn’t have the normal, typical pins. We had three or four that were much easier than normal. Tees were moved up on a few holes. 18 moved up two tee boxes.
“It’s a bit of a shocker. But it provides more atmosphere for guys to make some birdies and then get after it. This is not a U.S. Open where you’re getting par every hole. Here it’s different. They’re trying to make a few birdies, make it a little more exciting.” – Helen Ross