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Golf: Cambo’s Disappearance From Competitive Golf

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland
Michael Campbell

“Michael Campbell won the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No.2 beating this one player that we’re trying not to mention here, and almost immediately he tried to “get better,” too. He practically disappeared from competitive golf.”

The one player Mike Purkey is trying not to mention is of course Tiger who in his trying to get better has, to quote Mike’s headline, “For Better Or For Worse” made some changes which, have not returned him to the form that made him the most formidable player in the modern era.

Mike writes, “It’s nothing new, this business of top golfers inexplicably changing swings after great achievements…”

Perhaps it’s part of what’s called, “The Major hangover” syndrome. The frequent lapses of players who’ve won a big one but their subsequent performances suggest they’ve got an alcoholic hangover.
Ian Baker-Finch features in Mike’s list of good golfers who’ve changed their game and got worse. However in defence of Ian’s decline, I have to say that the decline wasn’t as fast as popularly believed and there’s a story behind his infamous out of bounds, “On the left – on the 150 yard wide fairway at the first hole of the Old Course at St Andrews.”

I’ve recently learned that Ian’s ball hit the tar-seal on “Granny Clarks Wind” and consequently the impact greatly affected the direction and velocity of his ball – If you’ve ever hit a cart path and watched your ball take off then you’ll know what it’s like.

Mike also mentions Padraig Harrington the “serial tinkerer” who has become, “The worst player to have won three majors.” And contrasts Paddy’s processes to Jack Nicklaus who, “…saw his teacher once a year for a tune-up on the basics. The rest of the year , he figured out things on his own.”

Mike also mentions Matt Kuchar who has successfully changed his swing however it wasn’t a Hogan-like, “Digging it out of the dirt” process. According to Mike it, “It took him all of five balls – not millions – to “Get it.”

Getting it can be that quick and I’m thinking of James Braid who was the shortest hitter off-the-tee among “The Great Triumvirate” - Vardon, Taylor and Braid and virtually overnight Braid become the longest driver of the three.
The previous night it came to Braid to manipulate his wrist a different way at the top of his back swing and bingo!

Here’s the link to Mike Purkey
Quote of the day
“You gotta dance with the one that brung you” – Mike Purkey quoting Sam Snead who almost never played around with his “oily” golf swing.

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