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Big Play Drawing on his 11 victories in Japan, Todd Hamilton made several key up-and-downs on Sunday and then stiffed the shot of his life at 18 to win

March 23, 2004
March 23, 2004

Table of Contents
March 23, 2004

Big Play Drawing on his 11 victories in Japan, Todd Hamilton made several key up-and-downs on Sunday and then stiffed the shot of his life at 18 to win

ANALYSIS

This is an article from the March 23, 2004 issue Original Layout

I played on Tour in the late 1980s but didn't learn the secret of
winning until I'd lost my card and started teaching. What is it?
Stay patient, which is much easier said than done. Hamilton did it
with amazing grace. Instead of lamenting bad approaches, he kept
cool and hit deft chips. When he lost control of his driver, he hit
irons off the tee, even at 16, a 486-yard par-4. Those moves kept
him alive until he had a chance to win, and he seized it, puring a
160-yard eight-iron shot at 18 from a tough downhill lie to an
elevated green.

THE TIP

Adjust your setup on downhill lies
Downhill lies require three adjustments:

1) Play the ball a little rear of center to ensure that the club
hits the ball before it hits the turf.
2) Open your stance to compensate for the ball being back of
center.
3) Tilt your upper body so that your shoulders are parallel to the
slope. During the swing be sure that the clubhead swings down
along the slope. It's critical to hold your posture through and
after impact.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

"TOUR OFFICIALS should handle rules questions and not accept
public input, like they did with Todd Hamilton."

"I TEACH several Korean men and women, and they practice three
times as hard as most of my American pupils."

"WITHOUT TV, it's highly unlikely that women--even Michelle
Wie--would play in men's tour events."

TWO COLOR PHOTOS: ANDREW GOMBERT (BENDER, 2)COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF NBC (HAMILTON)COLOR PHOTO: WILLIAM R. SALLAZ (BACKGROUND)

Mike Bender teaches at Timacuan Country Club in Lake Mary, Fla.,
and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.