By petedirenzo
Thursday, May 07, 2009

Two pieces of equipment will define the first round of the Players: Tiger's driver and Sergio's putter. Both weapons have been misfiring so far this season, and the result has been some desperate tinkering. Last week Tiger tried out three different shafts in his driver, and Sergio will be wielding a new wand at the Players. Both would-be favorites need to shore up their lingering weaknesses to contend this week.Despite its brutish reputation, the Stadium Course is actually a position golf course, which is why Johnny Miller recently opined that Woods would be wise to leave his balky driver in the trunk of his car. In his pre-tournament press conference, Woods seemed offended by the suggestion, and the high-profile disputation only increases the pressure on Tiger to find the Stadium's narrow fairways. Meanwhile, Garcia's spottiness on the greens is nothing new, but he seems beaten-down by all those missed putts. Last year's triumph at the Players was supposed to be Sergio's breakthrough, but his game and his attitude have regressed significantly this year. If returning to the Stadium Course doesn't inspire him, nothing ever will.

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