Posted February 25, 2014

Tiger, Heal Thyself: Ian Baker-Finch Says Tiger Should Fix Swing on His Own

News, Tiger
Tiger Woods and Ian Baker-Finch at the 2009 Australian Masters (AFP/Getty Images).

Tiger Woods and Ian Baker-Finch at the 2009 Australian Masters (AFP/Getty Images).

Tiger’s swing is like the weather: everybody talks about it; a lot of people think it should change.

One of them is British Open champion-turned-broadcaster Ian Baker-Finch who, in an interview with Reuters, offered some throwback counsel for the world’s number-one.

The upshot? Tiger, heal thyself.

Rather than focus on long range sessions and mechanical minutiae with Sean Foley, Baker-Finch said, Woods should spend a month working on his own, playing alone every day on a more intuitive search for the old magic.

“Tiger has issues with his swing. He keeps blaming his putting, but it’s not his putting (that is the problem), it is his swing, and he needs to sort that out,”” Baker-Finch said.

In two events this season, Woods has struggled, missing the Saturday cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego and finishing 41st at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Finch, who worked the Torrey event for CBS, ranks among the most diplomatic of commentators, rarely issuing a critical word. But he wasn’t thrilled with what he saw from Woods, and he said it’s time for Tiger to try a different tack.

“Tiger should shoot a score every day until his next tournament, not hit perfect shots on the range with Sean and TrackMan,” Baker-Finch said. “Just go play golf and enjoy getting it in the hole in the lowest number possible. I think that’s what he used to do when younger.”

Baker-Finch knows the pitfalls of getting too technical. After winning the British Open in 1991 at Royal Birkdale, the Australian went down the rabbit hole of swing thoughts, a grim, bewildering place from which he never fully emerged.

Tiger’s not there. Not even close. But, as Baker-Finch said, “It’s obvious something is not right.”

He added: “He might go win Bay Hill by 10 shots again and two or three others on courses where he feels comfortable, but there was a time a decade or so ago when he was top-three every time he played.”

Those days are gone. And though Baker-Finch believes that Tiger is “still capable of being number one in the world for another five years,” it is “not the same Tiger we saw from 1999 to 2007.”
 By year’s end, Baker-Finch said, he expects his countryman Adam Scott to supplant Woods at the top of the world-rankings.

“He has no flaws. He’s quite capable of overtaking Tiger this year. All the stars are aligned seemingly. Who apart from Adam is going to be number one at the end of the year? Maybe Rory McIlroy, but I think he’s still in a little bit of a search. I don’t think he’s on top of his game yet, even though he’s coming back. He shot 74 (in the final round in Dubai) and finished ninth, so he still has issues.”

17 comments
GolfSh8pForeLyf
GolfSh8pForeLyf

Tiger needs to play golf and not play golf swing… simple.. if he does that, 19 Majors by 2017

macer
macer

The great Ben Hogan stated it well, "dig it out of the dirt." 

Jack Nicklaus had Jack Grout for a teacher, however, Nicklaus saw Grout infrequently compared to the time Tiger and Foley spend together. 

It is this follower of golf's belief that Tiger's putting is certainly below the level of performance the past five years compared to his putting from 1997-2009. 

It will be interesting to learn how Tiger performs in the four majors once again, the events that are the foundation for legacy in golf.

Golfaholic
Golfaholic

His competitive fire is burning LOW as he has turned off that burner down too much.  An indication of that is his acceptance of such poor quality hits from his Driver for several years now.  Even a high handicapper can improve his driving over that much time to at least hit the fairways!

jradam77
jradam77

I will take what Ian Baker-Finch has to say anyway over all of the other commentators….But, based on what I am reading here, this tends to dovetail with what Brandle Chamblis has been saying all along... I am sorry to say.

It's hard to believe that the greatest golfer in the world cannot find his way from the tee with one of THE most expansive Driver made by THE most expansive golf equipment manufacturer.

I am sorry to say this; but, it seems that this is as far as Sean Foley can take Tiger Woods.

I also think that Tiger is taking his game and winning for granted. His demeanor on the golf course is not commensurate to THE Golfer Tiger Woods.

I am just "saying...

Gregory Ellis
Gregory Ellis

Baker-Finch should work on his ANNOUNCING and STOP worrying about Tiger (y)

Zac Cypret
Zac Cypret

The two greatest moments in sports that I've ever witnessed were game six of the 2011 World Series and the 2008 U.S Open. Those historical events were defining moments of raw electricity; scripts no man could fathomably conjure on his own. Many people could care less about seeing Tiger once again as a monumental victor, but the numbers don't lie. He's still "better than most." However, streamlining his attention for perfect execution and his ability to JUST PLAY could be a plausible plan of attack. Vengeance at The Masters could be surreal!

Martin Gonzales
Martin Gonzales

Agreed. Tiger was amazing without Trackman. Trackman provides feedback but that's all.

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Nothing is wrong with Tiger.  His long game did look like poop.  It looked obvious to me, armchair QB like Ian, that he was not Tiger Ready for the events he played.  It did not look like he put in his usual time before he came to the course.  He only blames putting when it is putting Ian.  


That he will win on courses he feels comfortable with is a slam to him and the other golfers!  When you win 79 times with a limited schedule your going to rack up multiple course wins. Give me a break,  He plays where the best fields play.  He is the only golfer that feels comfortable on a course?  I like Ian.  He is one of the better B color guys.


How are stars aligned seemingly for Adam?  What does this even mean?  Because Tiger had 2 sub par rounds it's there for Adam?  


Hopefully Tiger drove his girlfriend to the doctor office and said "I will see you after the Masters"!

Melvin Madiou
Melvin Madiou

Tiger Woods has become a full-time businessman. He's a part-time golfer now.....He promotes golf in Turkey and plays invitational tournaments in India which pay him $2 million a pop to attend. Why grind away on the PGA.

OnTheRoad
OnTheRoad

Agree with Baker-Finch! TW is too good, knows his swing better than any other golfer (or at least he did). Would love to see him play more tournaments and just work it out!

RJtheBear
RJtheBear

@si_golf @TigerWoods has won 8 times the past two years. For some that is a career, he will be fine. Why can't people just leave him alone.

jradam77
jradam77

Why? Because He is telling it like it is…"Analysis-paralysis" makes a lot of sense to me…

jradam77
jradam77

I'll go along with that… Because He is also making other people around him very rich...

MorphySmith
MorphySmith

@RJtheBear @si_golf@TigerWoods 

leave tiger alone.LOL where the hell have you been. Every golf publication has a story about tiger every week regardless of what he does or plays.

and tiger gets paid plenty for them NOT to leave him alone.

 

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