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Merrimack Valley

March 8, 2013

Stricker offers timely tip, helps Woods take lead

DORAL, Fla. — Steve Stricker is playing a part-time schedule this year. He might consider becoming a part-time putting coach for Tiger Woods.

Stricker is among the best putters in golf, and he has given advice to Woods when asked. So when Woods approached him on the putting green on the eve of the Cadillac Championship, they worked together for about 45 minutes.

And it seems to have worked.

“Whatever he says, I’m doing to do,” Woods said. “He’s one of the best putters that’s ever lived.”

Woods said his posture was a little off from where it was at Torrey Pines, where he earned his 75th career victory. Woods took only 23 putts in the first round and was 18th out of 65 players in the key putting stat on the PGA Tour.

It led to a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead.

“He can see the things that are off a little bit because he knows my stroke so well,” Woods said. “Just gave me a couple little things to talk about and, lo and behold, I started feeling just like I did at Torrey.”

Stricker, who is playing only about 11 tournaments this year, said he told Woods on Wednesday that if he were on the payroll, he could play even less.

“Did he say he putted good?” Stricker asked after he shot a 67.

This is not the first time Stricker has worked with Woods. He also gave him some advice at the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, and that worked out well for Woods.

“He was talking a little yesterday that a couple of putts were bothering him,” Stricker said. “I always hate to interject anything with him, but he was open to it. You don’t want to screw a guy up, either. But when I left him last night, he was really excited and it looked like he was rolling it really good then.

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