PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Justin Thomas coaching by Tiger Woods seems to have paid off as Woods borrowed Thomas putting coach Matt Killen.
Killen was seen working with Woods on Monday at TPC Sawgrass in front of The Players and walking with Woods, Thomas and Trey Mullinax during a practice early Tuesday morning.
That Woods turned to a coach should not be a surprise considering his performance on the greens in his last two starts. Woods recorded at least 12 or more throws on ring surfaces at the Genesis Open and WGC-Mexico championships, totaling 66 shots in total last weekend. Late in his third round at Chapultepec, he followed a putt of four for a 1-2 with a putt of three for a bogey.
Woods said Tuesday that the stiffness in the neck exacerbated an already poor stretch.
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"Yeah, you can only swing or make the movement as good as the sensations of your body," he says. "I was getting a little stiffer and tighter, and unfortunately … as my neck tightened a bit more, yes, I did not feel comfortable with my putting. But my put was uncomfortable to enter this point. It did not make things worse.
As for his relationship with Killen, Woods said his story was about "good discussions" at the 2016 Ryder Cup in Hazeltine, where Woods was vice-captain and Killen coached J. B. Holmes.
Since then, Killen has participated in several Woods workouts, on tour and in South Florida.
"Matt has seen enough," said Woods. "I've listened to what he's been saying to JT over the past 12 months and I really respect what he sees." He is very competent. …
"I wanted him to take a look at it, then he mentioned a few points. As I began to feel a little better this week or last week, the putting is definitely released. "