- Tiger Woods has putted poorly the past two years and he’s finally revealed why.
- His back injury made it almost impossible to practice putting, and this was the reason for his epic slump.
Tiger Woods has finally given us some insight into his disastrous putting over the past two years. It turns out it’s not old age or the yips, but in fact his crippling back injury that has sent the former world number one crashing down the world rankings.
In a recent interview with TIME Magazine, Woods blamed his putting woes on the debilitating trapped nerve he’s had in his lower back since toppling over during The Barclays in September 2013.
“When my back was bad, anytime I bent over, my whole upper body and neck would start to cramp up, and so putting was the most painful, and so I never practiced it. It hurt too much. It’s just a matter of getting healthy enough to where I can do that again.”
While Woods didn’t play enough competitive rounds in 2014 and 2015 to be eligible for a ranking in Strokes Gained, it’s fair to say his putting is a shadow of its former self.
Is Woods right to blame putting woes on injury?
The simple answer is probably not. Woods’ putting disappeared the moment he crashed his Escalade into a tree on that fateful evening in November 2009. For the first time in his career, Woods started missing clutch putts such as the 8-footerat the Chevron World Challenge where he was beaten by Graeme McDowell in 2010.
In 2012 and 2013, he ranked 35th and 22nd in Strokes Gained, further evidence to argue that Woods’ putting issues are not the result of a dodgy back.
Woods thinks otherwise.
“I know I can putt. I proved that to myself this year that I can still putt. I haven’t lost my nerves. My hands don’t shake. I don’t feel any of those sensations, unless my back was acting up. But then bending over would cause my neck to go, and eventually other parts of my body would start to go.”
No one likes to admit getting the yips, and while Tiger isn’t there yet, it’s fair to say his putting has much bigger issues than a trapped nerve or two.