Golf: Woods refutes rumor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 30, 2009

By Doug Ferguson
Associated PressCHARLOTTE ó Tiger Woods was furious at how he hit the ball at the Masters, and he said after the final round that he used a “Band-Aid” swing to get around Augusta National in 68.That led to some news reports that Hank Haney’s days were numbered as Woods’ swing coach.
“That’s complete speculation,” Woods said Wednesday. “It has nothing to do with (him). I didn’t hit the ball the way I wanted to, and I didn’t make any putts. I felt like that every day. It was 17 and 18 that hurt. I didn’t finish off my rounds the last couple of days.”
Much of the speculation focused on a practice session Friday, when Woods was pounding drivers in frustration and griping about his swing to Haney. Caddie Steve Williams knew Woods needed to blow off some steam, so he stayed near the clubhouse and ate lunch.
“Usually, you just leave me alone, let me vent for a while and then I’ll be ready to focus on what I need to do to get ready for the next day,” Woods said. “It’s happened before. He (Haney) has seen it before. Stevie has seen it. You’ve got to vent.”
ARGENTINE APPETITE: According to a story in Sports Illustrated about the Masters, Angel Cabrera has such an appetite that at the champions dinner Sunday after his victory he found the “Tiger Woods Cheeseburger” so much to his liking that he ate nine of them, washed down by red wine (the burgers were said to be small).
“No, it’s not true,” Cabrera said through an interpreter, swing coach Charlie Epps. “I don’t like hamburgers, anyway. It’s not true.”
QUICK FIX: Tiger Woods was strolling down the fairway and talking on his cell phone during the pro-am.
Who was he calling?
The answer was evident when Rick Nichols of Nike hustled inside the ropes, took Woods’ putter and 3-wood and began jogging off toward the equipment trailer.
The 3-wood needed a new grip. And the putter that Woods has used to win 13 of his majors?
The loft had changed ever so slight, which Nichols said happens on occasion. He adjusted it by three-quarters of a degree. The putter was returned one hole later, and Woods made a 20-foot eagle putt.
“Good job, Rick,” Woods called out to him. “You did the company proud.”
The putter is the one club that is not made by Nike. Woods has been using a Scotty Cameron putter that Mark O’Meara gave him at the 1998 British Open.