He literally shot -1 on one leg on Thursday and don’t let the +2 round yesterday fool you – after not playing in a Tour event in a year and a half, another back surgery and a shattered right leg, the man has scored better than all but 18 players thus far.
Granted it’s Augusta National where he could play blind-folded in the dark, but come on.
The only thing he’s missing is a swing model that lets him play without further damage to his back and knee, and I would favor him to still surpass Jack’s 18 majors.
Will he win this weekend? Most likely not, though he was sniffing a chance coming into the 2nd round.
But watching him play yesterday, I couldn’t help but think, “Man, he’s getting 170 mph ball speed and still playing better on one leg than most of these guys…”
What makes me shake my head watching him swing right now though – everyone talking about how he can’t generate the same power with his right leg in the condition it’s in, when no one is thinking of the obvious – he doesn’t need his right leg on the downswing if he used the kinetic chain properly!
Sure, if you’re trying to pivot into a restricted-hip turn using that right leg to provide the resistance, and trying to push off into the downswing and anchor the right foot through impact to the finish, you sure can’t generate huge power swinging that way.
But he doesn’t have to swing that way – in fact, he’s using much more hip turn now because his right leg can’t restrict the rotation:
… and he’s releasing that trailing foot because he has to get into his left foot to generate any speed… so he’s nearly there, though he doesn’t know how close he is.
The problem is, as you see above, he’s too weighted into the left side on the back pivot, or he wouldn’t be able to get that much hip turn and left knee swing with a flat heel.
From the top, he’s then standing on the left leg, which is where you see that right foot release through impact because there’s much less weight on it than before.
And he’s still able to generate 170+ ball speed doing this.
- Tiger could likely get up to or approach 180 mph even swinging this way as he adjusts to playing again, and that’s something in itself at 46 and
- Given a better swing model where he starts his back pivot loading into the right foot (his right leg could definitely support this as he’s been standing full-weight on it to pick the ball out of the cup) and then shifts into his left foot and keeping releasing that right foot, he could take 15 years off the clock, speed-wise.
The Shift-and-Post would be the move. Even a Classic model, but with the modern players’ obsessions with keeping the leading heel nailed down on the back pivot, the Shift-and-Post would be it.
I’ve been screaming for years that TW wouldn’t make it to 50 playing golf with an X-Factor swing, but now he’s turning those hips in the pivot because of the physical limitations imposed by the back and leg.
From what I’ve seen the last two days, Tiger Woods with a workable swing still bags at least a major per season until he’s 50, and where does that take him?