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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sergio Watch & A Tip from Nick Faldo

The FedEx Cup playoffs began today at the Barclays, and I’ll be following Sergio’s progress again. Given his recent comment that he simply wasn’t enjoying golf right now, and the heartbreak of coming up one short in the Wyndham last week, I think his run at the Cup may teach all of us some things about a winning mindset.

And boy, did he show us something today! After positioning himself well inside the top 100 last week to start his run, he blistered the Liberty National Golf Course today with a 6-under 65, outscoring both Tiger and Phil by a wide margin. (And Phil is a member there!) After the round he said the small greens reminded him of Valderrama, current home of the Volvo Masters and a site where he has played well in many Ryder Cups. He said the course just looked good to him. His driving, putting, and iron play were all in good form today as well.

Here’s a great tip from Sergio for weekend golfers: When playing a course, try to find some positive connections to other courses you like or to good rounds you’ve played.

Nick Faldo also remarked about how much smoother Sergio’s swing looked compared to last week. Faldo noted that Sergio always has problems with accuracy when he “gets violent at that change of direction.”

A couple of weeks ago I discussed the use of a loop at the change of direction, and one reason for using it was to prevent jerking the club off-line at the top of the swing. Nick reiterated this today, so I want to say it again: No matter what your chosen swing technique may be, it is crucial to make the change from backswing to downswing as smoothly as possible if you want to be accurate. Even the best players―like Sergio―struggle when they don’t.

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