Gary Woodland hopes his swing change will be second nature by the Masters Tournament



Gary Woodland was irritated that he couldn’t do better than 70 on the North Course at Torrey Pines. It wasn’t much better on the South Course, where 72 allowed him to make the cut on the number, and 74 in the third round wasn’t enough for the 54-hole cut at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Then again, he realized it might take time for him to adjust to a new swing.

“I’m changing the whole path of the swing,” Woodland said. “I’d like to be ready for Augusta.”

Woodland already has gone through substantial changes off the course. When he left agent Blake Smith at Hambric Sports, he also wound up losing his swing coach – Randy Smith, the agent’s father. He left Kapalua at the start of the year and flew to Las Vegas, where he spent six consecutive days with Butch Harmon.

That he wants to be ready for the Masters Tournament would indicate an overhaul. Harmon says that isn’t the case.

“He’s been pretty one-dimensional,” Harmon said Tuesday. “We’re getting him to move the ball around, change his trajectory a little, change the setup and the path of his swing and get more of a variety of shots, which he needs to have. We knew he wasn’t going to be very good last week. Finally, the last nine holes things were starting to click. But it’s going to take a while.”

Harmon, who has cut down on his stable of clients over the year, now works with Woodland, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and Phil Mickelson.

Asked who was the shortest hitter from that group, Harmon said, “Me.”


BEGAY TO BE HONORED: Notah Begay has been selected for the Charlie Bartlett Award, given by the Golf Writers Association of America to a professional golfer for unselfish contributions to improve society.

Begay is the only full-blooded Native American to win on the PGA Tour. He founded the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation in 2005 to battle the epidemic of childhood diabetes and obesity among Native Americans.

He has raised more than $3.2 million in three years through his charity golf event.

Over the past three years, the foundation has reached more than 10,000 children in 11 states through golf, soccer, health and wellness and grant programs.

Begay will be honored April 4 at the GWAA’s annual awards dinner in Augusta on the eve of the 76th Masters.


MICKELSON AT TORREY: Phil Mickelson might get a chance to redo Torrey Pines – the North Course, anyway.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday that Mickelson has offered to waive his design fee if given a chance to refurbish the North Course.

The newspaper said he met with Mayor Jerry Sanders during the Farmers Insurance Open last week and is putting together a preliminary proposal on how to renovate the 55-year-old course.

The South Course is the more famous of the two and hosted the 2008 U.S. Open.

The North Course is about 600 yards shorter and played three shots easier during the tournament last week.


Wed, 08/23/2017 - 18:49

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