Ex-pro says Woods enjoyed equipment edge in dominant 2000

Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:18pm EST
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By Andrew Both

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods ruled golf in 2000 in a manner that may never be matched, but one of his peers may have an insight into one of the reasons for that dominance.

Frank Nobilo, who won 15 times globally, including once on the PGA Tour, says Woods reaped the benefits of being one of the first players to switch to a solid ball from a wound ball.

"A lot of people look at 2000 as Tiger at his best but it was probably the first and only time in Tiger's career that you could argue that maybe he had better equipment than the rest," Nobilo, now a commentator for Golf Channel, told Reuters.

"Only a handful of guys had gone to the solid ball. The rest of us all thought a wound ball was better."

Wound balls had a rubber thread wound around either a liquid center or a synthetic rubber core. These days, all players use solid, multi-layer, urethane-covered balls.

New Zealander Nobilo is not suggesting Woods would not have dominated had he used wounds balls, just that he thinks it might not have been by quite as much.

That was the year Woods won nine PGA Tour events, including three majors, one of which, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, was a mind-boggling 15-stroke runaway.

"Everybody caught up about a year or two later (with ball technology) and Tiger was still better, but not by quite as much," said Nobilo.   Continued...

La Jolla, CA, USA; Tiger Woods hits his drive on the 12th during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course - South Co. Feb 5, 2015.  Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports