Golf365 reveals the secrets of success of this week’s US PGA and European Tour winners, Tiger Woods and Soren Kjeldsen.
TIGER WOODS – ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL WINNER
In The Bag
Driver – Nike Dymo Prototype
Fairway wood – Nike SQ II
Irons – Nike VR TW Blades
Wedges – Nike VR & SV
Putter – Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Stainless Newport 2
Ball – Nike One Platinum
Glove – Nike Dri-FIT Tour
Shoes – Nike Air Zoom TW 2009
Sports Drink – Gatorade Tiger
Sharp Short Game
In his first two outings post-operation Woods had played well from tee to green but was left frustrated by his inability to hole the putts.
“If he starts making putts,” Rocco Mediate said at the start of the event. “It’s danger, danger, danger.”
Mediate was right on the money. Woods took fewer putts all week than anyone in the field and and topped the Scrambling and Birdie stats.
Ironically his stats for Ball-Striking and Greens in Regulation were weaker than at Doral, but his putter more than made up for it.
At Home With Arnold
It is stating the obvious to say that Woods is good enough to win tournaments on any course, but even he admits that some layouts suit him more than most and Bay Hill is clearly a course he is in love with, having won six of his last ten starts.
It is also apparent how well he appreciates every dip and hollow on the final green. Last year he holed an outrageous 30-foot birdie putt to defeat Bart Bryant.
This year he repeated the trick, holing from 16-feet to clinch victory and complete his overhaul of the overnight leader Sean O’Hair.
SOREN KJELDSEN – OPEN DE ANDALUCIA DE GOLF 09 CHAMPION
In The Bag
Driver – Cleveland
Fairway wood – Cleveland Steel
Rescue – Cleveland Rescue
Irons – Cleveland CG Red Tour Special
Wedges – Cleveland 588 Series & CG 10
Putter – Odyssey Rosie 2
Ball – Titleist ProV1
Shoes – Footjoy
Kjeldsen’s win proved that the modern game requires little in the way of driving accuracy. In his third round Kjeldsen hit just 7 of 14 fairways and yet still compiled a superb 62, one of the best rounds of the European Tour season.
Looking through his event stats very little stands out – his driving was nothing special, he was solid at hitting the greens and he putted okay.
The real key to success came with his ability to one-putt when it mattered – he ranked first for Par Breaking and third for Scrambling.
Drysdale Gets Wet
Going into the final three holes Kjeldsen was level with playing partner David Drysdale. During his career the Scotsman has proved himself a good enough golfer to repeatedly escape the Challenge Tour and Q-School, but not yet confident enough to avoid dropping back to the lower levels the following year.
His cheque for second place ought to be enough to spare him another painful autumn, but late nerves also cost him a crack at victory. He watched Kjeldsen hole two big putts on 16 and 17, and could only finish bogey-double bogey himself, including an ugly dip in the water on the final hole.
Soren Reigns in Spain
For most of his career the Dane has under-performed in Spain, but since the end of 2006 he has been outstanding.
A sixth place in the Mallorca Classic triggered the change in fortunes and he followed it with a top 20 at the Volvo Masters.
A year later, in the same event, a stunning final round 67 at Valderrama almost won him the title before he was defeated in a play-off by Justin Rose.
12 months on he opened with a 65 and never relinquished the lead to win the final running of the Volvo Masters.
In between times he was fourth at the Castello Masters.
He now has two wins and another three top six finishes from his last seven starts in Spain.
Rory McIlroy on latest near-miss in Abu Dhabi: ‘I don’t feel like I played great’
McIlroy avoids mentioning final-round blues but admits he needs to get more consistent.
Tyrrell Hatton eyes Ryder Cup spot after winning Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Hatton carded a closing 66 to finish 18 under par.
Tyrrell Hatton wins Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship as Rory McIlroy misses out
Australia’s Jason Scrivener recorded an eagle and five birdies in a back nine of 29 to claim second place.
Rory McIlroy leads the way in Abu Dhabi as he eyes overdue victory
McIlroy will have to keep his Ryder Cup team-mates at bay if he is to claim the trophy.
Tyrrell Hatton dominant as Rory McIlroy falters in Abu Dhabi
Hatton led by five shots at the end of a second weather-affected day.
Phil Mickelson on Tiger’s latest surgery: ‘I feel bad because golf should be a game of a lifetime’
Mickelson admitted he was saddened by the news of Woods’ latest back surgery.
Rory McIlroy makes brilliant start to fog-affected Abu Dhabi Championship
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes.
Rory McIlroy shines in Abu Dhabi to take first-round lead following flawless 64
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes, three thirds and a fifth in his last nine starts, but has never won.
Justin Thomas on end of Ralph Lauren deal: ‘They moved on so that’s what I’m doing as well’
Justin Thomas said he was upset by...
My last win feels a long time ago – Rory McIlroy aiming to start year on a high
McIlroy has not tasted victory since November 2019.