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Woods reaping benefits of swing change

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, red-hot favorite to win this week’s Tour Championship, has been back to his intimidating best since making a swing adjustment after the British Open at Carnoustie in July.

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the BMW Championship golf tournament in Lemont, Illinois, September 9, 2007. Woods, red-hot favorite to win this week's Tour Championship, has been back to his intimidating best since making a swing adjustment after the British Open at Carnoustie in July. REUTERS/Frank Polich

The world number one refined his posture by standing closer to the ball before embarking on a remarkable run of three wins and a tie for second in his last four PGA Tour starts.

He is unquestionably the player to beat at East Lake Golf Club after firing a superb eight-under-par 63 to win the BMW Championship by two shots on Sunday and take over at the top of the FedExCup standings.

“I’ve always had a tendency to have my weight set too much on my heels and not necessarily on the balls of my feet,” Woods told reporters on Wednesday.

“My set up got a little quirky, and it usually does when I start playing in a bunch of wind. I just needed to be a little more diligent with my posture over there at the British Open.

“I knew what to do, but it was hard to do it under pressure. I have a tendency of sitting back and trying to hit low balls that way,” he added.

“It’s easier to get more flat if you get the weight on your heels, but I’ve got to fix that.”


Woods, who has twice overhauled his swing since turning professional in 1996, said the adjustment was relatively easy to make.

“It was just getting back into my natural posture, which is no big deal,” the 13 times major champion said. “That’s what I usually play from, and you tend to get off.

“Towards the end of last year we worked on the same things at the Western (Open), and I went on that nice little run there towards the end of the year in some tournaments.”

Woods ended his 2006 PGA Tour campaign with six consecutive victories and also won the December Target World Challenge, which he hosts, for good measure.

“A lot of this is the same thing,” he added. “I tend to slip back into the same old faults.”

There has been widespread suggestion, including from his peers, that Woods is swinging the club in much the same way as in 1999 and 2000 when he was virtually unstoppable but he disagrees.

“I don’t think it does,” the 31-year-old said. “I’ve made a bunch of changes since then and I think the pieces were starting to come together last year.

“As far as tinkering, we’re all tinkering. We’re all trying to get better. You have to believe in your heart of hearts that what you’re doing is right. Sometimes people do make changes and they go the wrong way and they don’t come back.

“The changes I’ve made when I first started working with Butch (Harman) and I first started working with Hank (Haney), I usually take a step back before I take two or three steps forward.”