Faldo: We'll See If Tiger Survives Physically

Tiger Woods is playing better than he has in years, but he must remain physically sharp to contend at Bellerive

The DA Show
August 09, 2018 - 11:29 am

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Tiger Woods has enjoyed quite the renaissance this season. He’s playing better than he has in years and finished sixth at the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

“It was great to see him at Carnoustie,” six-time major winner Nick Faldo said on The DA Show. “I think what he’s done this year has been amazing. Just over a year ago, (we weren’t) sure if he’d ever play again. Now he’s (playing) at the Open and Carnoustie was amazing. But there’s so many different areas of this game. You got to be physically strong, you’ve got to be tactically really good and you’ve got to be mentally strong and balanced.”

Woods, 42, hopes to carry his strong play into the PGA Championship at Bellerive this week. Even if he plays well, though, other players might simply play better.

“There are so many good players now,” Faldo said. “When Tiger was at his place of dominance, once he got atop the leaderboard, he was kind of fending them off one at a time. That doesn’t happen now. They’re coming in force. Every week you watch our leaderboard and we have 8, 10, 12 players within two shots trying to win. It’s so competitive with so many good players, and he has to battle everything.”

Woods fizzled at Firestone last week, posting back-to-back 3-over-73s to finish tied for 31st.

“Last week, I think physically it looked like his back tightened up over the weekend,” Faldo said. “You can’t operate like that. That’s just not the way to play, with a tight back or tight thoracic spine. He’s got to physically be 100 percent, technically got to believe in his swing, mentally he’s got to be very strong and get in there and challenge everybody. Nothing’s easy for him, to be honest. 

“That was an amazing effort at Carnoustie,” Faldo continued. “If he can do that this week, I think the physical part is the main thing. Walking on soft grass actually is probably a little harder on your back. We’ll see the fatigue factor, if he survives the week physically. I think that’s the most important thing to getting started.”