Tiger Woods has had plenty of success at Torrey Pines.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tiger is the odds-on favorite to win the U.S. Open. We asked his swing coach Hank Haney what the keys will be for the World No. 1.

"U.S. Open courses play so hard. I'm not sure Tiger will play it any differently [than he normally does]. He hits for the landing areas. But if it's soft, it's going to play longer."

\n"The greens will be more firm than they are at the Buick [Invitational], so Tiger will have to get the ball in the air so it lands soft. That's the tricky part."

\n"You'll know Tiger is on his game if he's holing some putts. He putted really well for a stretch at Doral [where his five-event winning streak ended], but he had quite a few three-putts. If he's on his game, he's going to make some key putts. He seems to putt those greens really well because he knows how they break."

\n"Everybody makes a big deal about the U.S. Open rough and Tiger's driving accuracy. How many U.S. Opens did Fred Funk win? How many did Calvin Peete win? If it were all based on driving accuracy, certainly one of those guys would've won one. If it's playing soft, you have to hit a lot of drivers. If the fairways are playing firm he won't have to hit driver as much. If he uses a shorter club, he's going to be more accurate with it."

\n"When a course plays really long, the advantage always goes to the best players. That's the way it is. To me, Tiger and Phil will be the two favorites, and neither one of them is leading in driving accuracy. Winning majors is more than just hitting fairways."

\n"There's nothing special about [how we work together for] the U.S. Open. I usually work with him for most of the week or the whole week before a major. That's the normal schedule. He'll ask, 'What does it look like? What do you think? What do you see?' about any phase of his game. He'll ask for 100 percent input."

\n"It's not hard to predict that the players who always seem to play well — Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk — will be up there [near the lead]. I think Phil Mickelson has an incredible chance if he plays well because he knows the course so well."

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