At a small, private dinner gathering in
Florida Thursday night master teacher Butch
Harmon was asked about Tiger Woods.
No, Harmon said, he had no interest in
writing a book about his former pupil. Yes,
Harmon said, he liked the work Woods was
doing with new coach Sean Foley on his full
swing. But why, Harmon asked plaintively,
would anybody want to fiddle with Tiger’s
once-reliable short game.
Sunday, half a world away at the Abu
Dhabi HSBC Championship, Woods’ patchy
new methodology around the greens cost
him bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes
and dug him a hole from which he never
extricated himself. “Two bad pitches back to
back,” Woods said. “Just a touch off.”
Robert Rock, a 34-year-old former
driving range pro from England’s East
Midlands, seized the opening, never
surrendered the lead and emerged with an
inspirational, if improbable, victory. “I really
can’t believe I’ve done this,” Rock said.
Meanwhile on the U.S. Tour in Southern
California, a confident, semi-under-the-radar,
former Walker Cupper named Kyle Stanley
looked like the coolest cat on the course.
Until he coughed up a furball in the form of a
seven-shot Sunday lead at Torrey Pines.
On the 72nd hole, Stanley pulled a
“Robert Garrigus” with a triple-bogey eight
that landed him in a playoff with fast- twitch
Snedeker won on the second extra hole.
Kudos to the winner. But this one was
painful to watch.