Big Play With Jim Suttie

August 22, 2004

After struggling with his driver all weekend, Vijay Singh confidently ripped a 325-yard tee shot on the first playoff hole to set up his victory

ANALYSIS

VIJAY SINGH'S confidence with his driver is unparalleled. While Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard hit fairway woods on the first playoff hole, Singh used his driver to hit a power fade despite struggling with the shot for most of the weekend. He normally hits a long, left-to-right tee shot, but he had lost a few drives left in the final round. Still, he began the playoff by aiming up the left side and splitting the fairway, blowing his ball well past DiMarco's and Leonard's. Having landed just short of the green, Singh spun a wedge from 36 yards to six feet and made the putt for his only birdie of the day.

THE TIP

Try Vijay's Drill

For a Power Fade

LINE UP with your shoulders and stance slightly open and the clubhead facing the target. Lay a club behind the ball pointing down the target line, and stick a shaft in the ground a few feet behind you, parallel to your normal swing plane. Take the club back so that it follows the shaft lying on the ground and clears the shaft stuck in the ground. This promotes the slight out-to-in swing path needed to hit a fade.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

"IT'S OBVIOUS that we need to change the World Ranking formula. Players are upset because it doesn't reflect how they're playing at the moment."

******

"DRASTIC CHANGES, such as the wider, more upright swing Justin Leonard recently switched to, require a strong belief in yourself and your teacher. The careers of Ian Baker-Finch and Seve Ballesteros didn't survive similar attempts."

******

"THERE WERE too many birdies at Whistling Straits. How could Ernie Els, who was last in fairways hit after three rounds, still be in contention?"

Dr. Jim Suttie owns Suttie Golf Academies in Naples, Fla., and Chicago and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.

COLOR PHOTOANDREW GOMBERT COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF CBS (SINGH) COLOR PHOTOMONTAGEANDREW GOMBERT/JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)

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)