AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Tiger Woods went back to the driver he was using last year, except that it didn't help. He hit only six fairways Saturday — up from four fairways on Friday — and made only one birdie in a round of 72 that left him no chance of defending his title.
Why the change? Apparently, it's mainly about weightlifting.
The old driver has a lighter shaft, and while Woods likes his new driver, he didn't want to put in a new shaft and tinker with the club.
"I figured the lighter shaft should help me out a little bit, get some speed back, because I'm just not quite as explosive as I need to be," he said.
Woods has used words like "explosive" and "speed" since his return from back surgery at Congressional the last week in June. That relates to his training.
"I haven't done any explosive lifting," Woods said. "I haven't done any of my fast-twitch stuff yet. As soon as I start doing my fast-twitch stuff, I can get my speed back up and then I can go back to my old driver."
Woods had said at the British Open two weeks ago that he was "stronger, more explosive the more days I played," explaining why it was helpful to return earlier than expected at Congressional.
"I'm getting stronger, I'm getting faster, I'm getting more explosive," he said at The Open. "That ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things."
So when can he start the explosive lifting?
"When my doctors say I'm ready for it," Woods said. "You don't want to do two things at once. I'm hitting the golf ball and then they'll still want to burn the candle at both ends by doing fast-twitch, explosive lifting and all my agility stuff I've been doing for years. Can't burn the candle at both ends right now."
RORY & JACK: Rory McIlroy met with Jack Nicklaus after the Memorial to talk about golf and business, and Nicklaus said he shared a few thoughts he had about McIlroy's swing. Nicklaus said he thought he could see elements of what they talked about at the U.S. Open and the British Open.
What was the swing tip?
"I'll let him talk about that," Nicklaus said last week. "Whether I helped him on that, I don't know. I don't really wish to take credit unless he wants to give it to me, but I don't know whether that's the case or not."
McIlroy said the tip is something he had been working on all year, though coming from Nicklaus was memorable — and amusing.
"He got up out of his seat and started giving me this lesson," McIlroy said Saturday. "And his hip creaked. It's like the funniest thing. It was a good moment. It's nice that he takes an interest in my game. It really is cool, and it's nice to be able to talk to him about those sort of things."
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