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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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
“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.”
“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