Big Play With Tom Patri

June 20, 2004

Sergio Garcia is fast becoming as good a shotmaker as his mentor,
Seve Ballesteros. By controlling the trajectory of his ball at 16
on Sunday, he made a critical birdie

ANALYSIS

THE WINNER of this week's U.S. Open at windswept Shinnecock Hills
will be the player who controls his ball flight as brilliantly as
Garcia did on Sunday at Westchester. On the third and final
playoff hole of the Buick, Garcia's knockdown from 90 yards out
led to the winning birdie, but more impressive to me was the
punched five-iron he played on the 204-yard par-3 16th during
regulation. He kept his tee shot under the wind, and the ball
wound up eight feet from the hole. He drained the putt to get
into position to win.

THE TIP

Wind Up? Hit the Knockdown Shot

TO HIT a low (a.k.a. knockdown) shot, you must have total control
of the club, so choke down slightly. Take no more than a
three-quarter-length backswing (inset) because the longer the
backswing, the higher the ball flight. Finally, abbreviate the
length of the follow-through (left) because the shorter the
follow-through, the lower the ball's trajectory.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

"David Duval making his comeback at a course like Shinnecock
Hills is a train wreck waiting to happen. What's wrong with the
Booz Allen or the John Deere?"

******

"Tiger Woods is b.s.'ing himself if he thinks he can make swing
changes on his own. You can't look at video of your own swing and
be objective."

******

"The Players Championship is the fourth major, and the PGA is the
fifth. With 25 club pros in the field you can't claim that
you're on the same level as the other four."

COLOR PHOTO: ANDREW GOMBERT COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABC (GARCIA) TWO COLOR PHOTOMONTAGES: ANDREW GOMBERT/JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)

TOM PATRI RUNS TOM PATRI GOLF SCHOOLS AT THE NAPLES GRANDE GOLF
CLUB IN NAPLES, FLA., AND IS A GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHER.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)