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Big Play with Mike Lopuszynski

WHO: TigerWoods

WHAT: Drivehooked into the trees

WHERE: 340-yardpar-4 12th hole at Warwick Hills

WHEN: Final roundof the Buick Open

WHY
At 7,561 yards, Medinah is a lot longer than both Warwick Hills and Hoylake, sowhile he may be able to play conservatively off the tee sometimes, Woods willhave to hit driver. And as he showed on the back nine on Sunday--when he hitthree hooks and a block with the big dog--the driver can still get him introuble. He swings so hard with the driver that he often gets his arms stuckbehind his rotating body, causing wild pushes and pulls.

MIKE'S TIP

My Half-PumpDrill Keeps You on Plane

To hit the driverstraight, you must have the club on plane halfway down and your arms in frontof you. To groove the position, try hitting shots at half speed with asix-iron. Swing back to the top, pause, then bring the club halfway down andpause again. The shaft should be parallel to the ground and to your toe line(YES). Swing back to the top, pause, come halfway down again and pause. Nowswing back to the top and, without pausing, hit the ball.

Mike Lopuszynskiteaches at the David Glenz Golf Academy in Hamburg, N.J.

... AND ANOTHERTHING

"If you askedevery player at a Tour event, Are you here to win? maybe 10 would honestlyanswer yes. Fat purses have created a place where mediocrity reigns."

GOLF MAGAZINE

TOP 100

TEACHERS POLL

Would you take Tiger Woods or the field to win the PGAChampionship?

Woods ...55%

Field ...45%

"He can smell 19. Full steam ahead now."

--MIKE PERPICH, RIVERPINES GOLF

The Pepper Mill

BACK ON COURSE Tiger is on a roll. The differencebetween his play now and during the first half of the year is crystal clear.He's had time to come to terms with the death of his dad, Earl, and I believethat after forcing himself to watch the final two rounds of the U.S. Open on TVas punishment for missing the cut, he has also rededicated himself to coursemanagement. He saw the implosions and bad execution down the stretch at WingedFoot, and they reminded him of all his dad taught him about thinking his wayaround a course. His wins at the British and Buick Opens were characterized bykeen decision making and aggressive play when appropriate. If Tiger keeps thatup, Medinah will be a repeat of 1999. I like Jim Furyk (right) as Tiger's chiefchallenger. He's a fantastic driver of the ball and a phenomenal wedge player,both musts in majors. But if Tiger executes, it's game over.

BEEN THERE, WON THAT At the start of the 2006 seasonthe LPGA hyped the young guns, but now that the majors are complete, we seethat experience has trumped youth. Sherri Steinhauer's win at the Women'sBritish Open places her with Karrie Webb (Kraft Nabisco), Se Ri Pak (McDonald'sLPGA) and Annika Sorenstam (U.S. Open) as this year's Grand Slam winners. Nonehas less than nine years' experience on tour, and they range in age from 28(Pak, left) to 43 (Steinhauer). Sherri's the second-oldest women's majorchampion ever, and her win is even more amazing when you consider that shealmost gave up the game a few years ago. Score one for the veterans!

FULLER CUP Kudos to the USGA for changing the CurtisCup format beginning at St. Andrews in 2008. The event will grow from two tothree days, with foursomes and four-ball the first two days and every playerparticipating in singles on the third day. The new setup makes it impossible tohide weak players, which means that more aggressive and, arguably, moreexciting play should result. It's already inspirational golf, which is why ifyou get the chance to attend, you should take it.

Dottie Pepper, a 17-year veteran of the LPGA tour andan analyst for NBC and the Golf Channel, welcomes questions atdottie@siletters.com.

PHOTO

COURTESY OF CBS (WOODS, TOP)

FOUR PHOTOS

ERICK W. RASCO (LOPUSZYNSKI, 4, AND BACKGROUND)

FOUR PHOTOS

DAVID WALBERG (PEPPER); CHARLIE CORTEZ/THE OAKLAND PRESS/AP (FURYK); CHRIS GARDNER/AP (PAK); CARLOS OSORIO/AP (WOODS)