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Original Issue

Big Play Despite battling a glitch in his swing during the final rounds, Tiger Woods won because--as usual--his foes wilted over the weekend

Everybody thinks it takes superhuman golf to beat Tiger Woods,
but that's rubbish. Dozens of Tour regulars could beat Woods if
they'd simply play their own games instead of getting psyched out
and trying to play with needless heroism. Last week Woods led by
four strokes after opening 67-63, but he shot a mortal
three-under 141 over the weekend while fighting a swing flaw in
which his arms trail too far behind his body in the downswing.
(Woods worked on the problem after slicing his drive into the
trees at 13 on Sunday, above.) But nobody took advantage of his
struggles, and Woods became the first Tour player since Scott
McCarron at the 2001 BellSouth Classic to win without breaking 70
on the weekend.

FIGHTING BACK Despite a series of final-round errors, runner-up
Esteban Toledo won't be another Woods casualty like Bob May, a
man who seems to have never recovered from losing a tete-a-tete
with the world's best player at the 2000 PGA. Toledo, a
39-year-old native of Mexicali, Mexico, is winless in five Tour
seasons and was 118th on this year's money list entering the
Buick, so he had nothing to lose as he headed into his Sunday
pairing with Woods trailing by two shots. The former professional
boxer certainly didn't sound like a beaten man afterward. "I gave
him a good fight," said Toledo. "I am a very strong person, and I
will win. No doubt in my mind."

HOT AIR The Buick was only Lanny Wadkins's third week as CBS's
lead analyst, but I've already started to mute the volume while
watching. Wadkins has no presence in the booth and has yet to
provide a glimmer of insight. If I were Lance Barrow, CBS's
coordinating producer for golf, I'd try this novel idea to fill
the lead analyst spot: Hire 10 Tour caddies who loop for top
players and have them work on a rotating basis. Nobody knows more
about the pros and the courses than the caddies, and glib chatter
is a specialty of their profession.

A CHANGE OF SCENERY It's a shame that the Tour lets business
considerations and the shackles of history overrule common sense
when it comes to selecting venues, especially for the week before
a major. Sure, Buick is based in Pontiac, Mich., only 25 miles
south of Warwick Hills, and the club has hosted the Buick Open
for 38 of the tournament's 44 years, but Warwick Hills is boring
and wide open. The world's greatest golfers, and the spectators,
deserve tracks such as Cog Hill and Westchester every week, and
there are dozens of glorious courses that would kill to host a
Tour event.

Mitchell Spearman is the director of instruction at Manhattan
Woods Golf Club in Nyack, N.Y., and one of Golf Magazine's Top
100 teachers.





The swing flaw that nags Tiger Woods--getting the club stuck
behind his body--is a common problem for many golfers. The result
is a club face that is too open and inside as it approaches the
ball. Trying to fix this problem on Sunday, Woods idled just off
the 13th tee and gave himself a little lesson, exaggerating how
far outside he needed to take the club on the takeaway.

What Woods was trying to emphasize was keeping his lower body
quiet and his weight on the right side while his arms swing down.
Then the lower body releases, and the arms swing through to the
target. You can also work on this; done correctly, your right arm
will be out in front of your torso--rather than behind it--and the
shaft will point directly at the target when it's parallel to the
ground (YES).