Big Play with Jim Suttie

August 27, 2006

WHO: TigerWoods

WHAT: 40-foot,right-to-left, downhill birdie putt

WHERE: 204-yardpar-3 8th hole at Medinah Country Club

WHEN: Final roundof the PGA

WHY

Woods used to bean aggressive putter and was ranked 171st in three-putt avoidance before thePGA, but he recently made his stroke much smoother and more evenly paced. Nowhis ball gently drops into the cup, and that has drastically improved his lagputting. Woods had only one three-putt last week, and he's again draining bombswith shocking frequency. On Sunday he put the PGA out of reach with 40-footbirdie putts that trickled in at the 6th and 8th holes, respectively.

JIM'S TIP

Learn to Lag byPutting to the Fringe

Ray Floyd showedme the best lag-putting drill I've ever seen: Put six balls on one side of thegreen near the fringe and six tees near the fringe on the opposite side. Spreadthe tees a few feet apart. Stroke each ball so that it hits or stops just shortof a tee. A ball should never roll past the tee and onto the fringe.

Jim Suttieteaches at the Club at TwinEagles in Naples, Fla.

... AND ANOTHERTHING

"Tim Finchemshouldn't rely on Tour players self-policing for performance-enhancing drugs.That hasn't worked in any other pro league."

The PepperMill

KIM POSSIBLE Ibelieve that the U.S. Women's Amateur victory of Kimberly Kim, known to friendsas Kim Squared, marks the start of a trend. Nearly 10 years ago the USGAlaunched a grant program that brings golf to kids who might not otherwise beexposed to the game. Kim, who's from Hawaii, was one of those kids. Kimberly'sdad, Young Soo, is an orchid farmer, and Kimberly and her sister, Christine,learned the game at a shabby public facility. The grant provided top-notchinstruction the Kims couldn't have afforded otherwise and furnished playingopportunities against good competition. Additionally, at the beginning of 2006the USGA approved a change in the amateur status rules, allowing expenses forindividual competitions to be paid through a player's state or regional golfassociation. Now the great young American players should start to emerge, asthey are on equal ground with foreign players whose federations have beensupporting them financially for years.

CUP FILLERSBefore Tom Lehman announced his Ryder Cup captain's picks, I liked three guys:Davis Love III (right), Stewart Cink and--my sleeper--Tim Herron. Davis andStewart are Cup vets, important since the seventh through 10th slots are filledby rookies. European crowds are enthusiastic, and the noise can be ashocker--singing, chanting--all good stuff, but you have to be prepared for it.Davis seems to rise to the occasion in singles (3-1-2 record), and given theU.S.'s history of being down heading into that format, you need a go-to guy.Stewart is playing well of late and was unbeaten in the '00 Presidents Cup. Timwon earlier in the season at Colonial, and his demeanor makes him a greatteam-room guy. You can pair him with anyone and feel confident. He also wentundefeated at the '93 Walker Cup.

Dottie Pepper, a17-year veteran of the LPGA tour and an analyst for NBC and the Golf Channel,welcomes questions at dottie@siletters.com.

>>>ANSWERS <<<

Who Am I? ... C)Ted Purdy (left)

Trivia TheWGC-Bridgestone Invitational was founded in 1999, and Tiger Woods has neverfinished worse than fourth (2002 and '03). He won the event in '99, '00, '01and '05.

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Who will win the Ryder Cup?

Europe ... 37%

U.S. ... 63%

"Tom Lehman's leadership will finally bring theU.S. team together. " --BRIAN MOGG
THE GOLDEN BEAR CLUB

SEVEN PHOTOSCOURTESY OF CBS (WOODS); ERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND, SUTTIE, 2); DAVID WALBERG (PEPPER); DON RYAN/AP (KIM); ROBERT BECK (LOVE); JOHN SOMMERS II/REUTERS (PURDY) ILLUSTRATION

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)