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Tiger liked the 5-iron better than the putt everyone’s talking about
But when Tiger Woods called swing coach Hank Haney the morning after Bay Hill, all he wanted to talk about was delicate little 164-yard, 5-iron onto the green.
The wind had switched and was coming into him from the right. The flag was tucked behind the lake on a green framed by rocks. Bunkers guard the back of the green, which slopes toward the water.
Most important, he was tied for the lead, and a bad shot could cost him the tournament.
“The hardest thing to do under pressure is play a delicate shot,” Haney said. “You’d rather have a shot that you can swing at hard. All he could talk about was the shot on 18. He told me, ‘I knew if I didn’t do it right, I could upshoot it into the wind and it’s in the water. If I flipped it, I hit it in the back bunker.’ He had to commit to do it correctly. And he pulled it off.
“That was phenomenal. That made him feel good.”
Haney also noted the celebration. After the shot, Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams slapped hands with force.
“I’ve been around him so much,” Haney said. “But it’s always fun to see shots he gets excited about. He was so happy with himself.”
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