Big Play with Jim Murphy

January 22, 2007

WHO: TaddFujikawa

WHAT: 330-yarddrive

WHERE: 417-yard,par-4 16th at Waialae Country Club

WHEN: Final roundof the Sony Open

WHY:
Most juniors are mechanical and strive for a perfect swing, but not Tadd. He'sloose and relies on feel and timing to maximize power from his small body(5'1", 140 pounds). His swing has two quirks: The backswing is veryvertical and extended, and he generates power mainly with his arms rather thanhis body. But it works, as he proved with his bomb at 16. Relying on timingwill make Tadd streaky, but his exuberance shows that he relishes the momentand he'll cash in if given the chance.

JIM'S TIP

Add Yards with aBaseball Swing

To maximizedistance, take practice swings as if you're swinging a baseball bat. Raise theclubhead so it's in the air between ankle- and waist-high and take a few cuts,swinging as fast as possible. You should hear a whoosh and feel your hands andarms release at the impact point. Then address the ball and swing with the samefreewheeling action.

Jim Murphy teachesat Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas.

... AND ANOTHERTHING

"Vijay Singhis my pick to take the FedEx Cup because the format is tailor-made for him. Heplays a lot and is very consistent."

The PepperMill

[ by DOTTIE PEPPER]

LIGHTS, CAMERA,ACTION "I was there," for the first FedEx Cup event and Golf Channel'sfirst week of coverage. Logistically, it couldn't have been a tougherstart--Kapalua is enormous and it has canyons that can interfere with contactamong the crew--but how about those pictures? The camera work was great, andthat despite 30-mph winds. I was also impressed with anchor Rich Lerner as wehad several generator failures minutes before going live, which would haveforced Rich to get the show on the air with no monitor, no contact with theOrlando base and minimal contact with the on-site producers. The power cameback, but Rich never broke a sweat. After watching the re-airs I offer thiscriticism: We announcers need to talk less and let the golf tell more of thestory.

WISH YOU WERE HEREReally disappointing to not see Tiger or Phil make the trip to Maui. It's aspecial event--winners only!--and it was also the launch of the FedEx Cup. Ithink it was a mistake for them not to be there. Nobody is bigger than thegame. (O.K., maybe Tiger.) But just the thought of beating the best always gotme fired up. Why not start right away?

WIE PROBLEM Afterthe Sony, I hope Michelle has a heart-to-heart with herself--no managers, noparents. Her game has been hurt by her pursuit of the Tour, especially as shetries to hit the ball farther. Over the holidays she spent two weeks at theLeadbetter Academy working on her mechanics but also tinkering with lots ofdriver shafts. An early by-product: one fairway hit during Thursday's round.Her balance through her full swing has suffered. The upside is that she's nowpitching and putting better, but only because her ball striking has mandatedit. I believe she should focus on balancing her off-course life with winning anLPGA event this year--play the two Hawaii events and a few tune-ups for themajors. Don't even think about skipping high school graduation!

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? ... B)Pat Perez (left)

Trivia The lastU.S. team--male or female--to win a World Cup was the duo of David Duval andTiger Woods in 2000 in Buenos Aires.

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL
Can someone Tadd Fujikawa's size make it on the PGA Tour?

Yes ... 100%

No ... 0%

"Success on Tour is about scoring from 100 yardsin, and Tadd can do that."
--TED SHEFTIC TED SHEFTIC LEARNING CENTER

EIGHT PHOTOSCOURTESY OF GOLF CHANNEL (FUJIKAWA, TOP); ERICK W. RASCO (BALL, BACKGROUND, MURPHY, 2); DAVID WALBERG (PEPPER); SAM GREENWOOD/WIREIMAGE.COM (LERNER); FRED VUICH (WIE); LOU CAPOZZOLA (PEREZ); ERIC RISBERG/AP (FUJIKAWA, BOTTOM)

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)