AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods went back to the driver he was using last year, except that it didn't help. He hit only six fairways — up from four fairways on Friday — and made only one birdie in a round of 72 that left him no chance of defending his title.
Why the change? Apparently, it's mainly about weightlifting.
The old driver has a lighter shaft, and while Woods likes his new driver, he didn't want to put in a new shaft and tinker with the club.
''I figured the lighter shaft should help me out a little bit, get some speed back, because I'm just not quite as explosive as I need to be,'' he said.
Woods has used words like ''explosive'' and ''speed'' since his return from back surgery at Congressional the last week in June. That relates to his training.
''I haven't done any explosive lifting,'' Woods said. ''I haven't done any of my fast-twitch stuff yet. As soon as I start doing my fast-twitch stuff, I can get my speed back up and then I can go back to my old driver.''
Woods had said at the British Open two weeks ago that he was ''stronger, more explosive the more days I played,'' explaining why it was helpful to return earlier than expected at Congressional.
''I'm getting stronger, I'm getting faster, I'm getting more explosive,'' he said at the Open. ''That ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things.''
So when can he start the explosive lifting?
''When my doctors say I'm ready for it,'' Woods said. ''You don't want to do two things at once. I'm hitting the golf ball and then they'll still want to burn the candle at both ends by doing fast-twitch, explosive lifting and all my agility stuff I've been doing for years. Can't burn the candle at both ends right now.''
BUBBA BASH: Masters champion Bubba Watson wasn't having the best day. He made two late bogeys for a 73 and was well off the pace.
But he sure put on a show.
Watson smashed his tee shot on the 659-yard 16th hole so far that he had only a 5-iron for his second shot. The drive caught the ridge just right and when it stopped rolling, Watson had the longest drive on the PGA Tour this year at 424 yards. That was 123 yards beyond Woods' drive, although Woods hit a TV tripod.
Watson's drive was so big that Zach Johnson and two caddies waited behind the 16th green when they realized that the ball in the fairway was Watson's drive, not his second shot. ''Better not be short,'' Johnson said.
Alas, he was. Watson's shot hit the bank and rolled back into the water — not because of the club, but a slight miss with the swing.
But what a drive.