Tiger must prove he is over chipping yips: Jacklin

Wed Dec 7, 2016 4:30am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Tiger Woods must prove he has overcome the "chipping yips" in order to fully challenge golf's elite again, according to double major champion Tony Jacklin.

American Woods, 40, made his comeback after an absence of almost 16 months caused by chronic back problems to finish 15th in an elite 17-man field at last week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

"I thought it was a promising return by Tiger," Jacklin told Reuters in a telephone interview from his Florida home. "It must have been a bit daunting for him after all that time away.

"One comment from Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee attracted my attention. I know he's a bit outspoken at times but he talks a lot of sense as well.

"Brandel maintains he's not seen anybody really come back from the chipping yips," said Jacklin. "He cherry-picked a number of situations from the four days in the Bahamas where Tiger had delicate shots he didn't do well with.

"If he's ever going to get back to the level of being able to win on the PGA Tour, never mind a major, there's no room for a weakness."

The roller-coaster nature of Woods's form was sharply illustrated by the fact that he led the tournament with birdies (24) and double-bogeys (six).

While he showed flashes of the brilliant golf he produced in accumulating 14 major titles, he also delivered the inept, often finding sandy waste areas off the tee or with approach shots.   Continued...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. tees off on the eighth hole during the third round of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the southwest city of Antalya November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo