Tiger's tweaks surprise Palmer

Wed, 23 Mar 15:43:00 2011

Golfing great Arnold Palmer says he is surprised that Tiger Woods has decided to rework his swing but says the 14-times Major winner is still capable of winning at any time.

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"I am a little surprised that he is changing his game or doing what he is doing to his game, which I am really not sure what it is," Palmer told reporters ahead of his own tournament, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which starts on Thursday at his Bay Hill course.

"I'm not going to claim to be an expert about his swing. The first few times that I played with him on the Tour, way back when he first came out, I thought he had a great swing and I thought he had a great posture in hitting the golf ball.

Obviously it was, because he didn't win all those tournaments without having those things.

"So changing? Well that is up to Tiger."

Woods has not won a US PGA Tour event since the Australian Masters in November, 2009, before his well-documented marital problems.

The former world number one is a six-time winner at Bay Hill but goes into his final preparation before next month's Masters at Augusta in indifferent form, although he finished his last tournament, at Doral, with an impressive round of 66.

Four-times Masters winner Palmer, who had 62 US PGA Tour wins between 1955 and 1973, said Woods was capable of producing his best at any time.

"I've been watching his game like everyone else has. I feel like Tiger has a golf game that can come to the surface at any time. I think that is certainly a possibility here. He likes the golf course. So I would not count him out at all...I think he is capable of winning any time," he said.

Woods's swing has become a controversial issue given the public spat between his swing coach Sean Foley and his former guru and, while steering clear of that dispute, the 81-year-old Palmer said that he had not used any sort of coach in his career.

"I really did not make any swing changes in my career. I started with a pattern when I began playing the tour and I stuck with it until today.

"I know the swing coaches, some of them, and I certainly don't want to step on their toes, because if that's what people want, a swing coach, that's fine.

"My father was my swing coach and I saw him at least once a year for about 70 years and he never changed anything. He watched me for five minutes and then went home.

"He put my hands on the golf club grip when I was six years old and he said: 'Boy, don't you ever change it'. Well I haven't changed it and I'm 81 years old."

Reuters

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