Woods dives again, another sign that he's back at full strength

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SAN DIEGO (Swing Update) – Tiger Woods feels stronger than ever with his merged back, and the evidence goes beyond the speed of his momentum or the toughness with which he can go after a deep shot.

Woods says that he is diving again.

He says that he was snorkeling and spearfishing during his free time, and that he had even plunged with a tank, which he had not done. For years.

"I just can not afford to have that weight on my back and compress my drive, and my drive was already screwed," said Woods, who underwent a merger in April 2017. "So Whenever you put weight on it, I've had no tank plunged in years, and to be able to do it again, be able to dive in the water and drive freely, to put the palms and load the body and let it fall like that … it's something that really missed me .. I like being in the water. "

Woods has been certified master diver, according to the National Association of Underwater Instructors.

Long before undergoing surgery on his knee and lower back, he entertained Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn about his diving adventures. Years ago, he explained to Clarke that it was best to witness life in the ocean without a regulator, because bubbles can scare off fish. Woods told them that the other side of the coin was that more sharks could come. This caught Bjorn's attention.

"Just be careful there," Bjorn told him. "Our future income depends on you."

GREEN REPAIRS

Three weeks into the year on the PGA Tour, a new rule could be tested on the Torrey Pines greens.

And that has nothing to do with leaving the flag in the cup.

Rule 13.1c allows players to repair the damage on the putting green to restore it as closely as possible to its original state. This includes repair of bullet marks, scuffs and fingerprints caused by equipment or damage to the flag and shoe.

It was not a problem for the Bermuda greens of Hawaii nor for the overseeding in the California desert. But Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and Riviera have annua poa greens, which can be bumpy in the mild conditions of California in winter.

One of the questions was how much damage the players could fix without creating a line at the hole.

"In Kapalua, I corrected the ball marks, but I only hit them because it was Bermuda," said Xander Schauffele. "Here, you might do little more than stomp … This place, late in the day, it feels like playing Plinko."

Schauffele quickly noted part of the new rule: the damage can be repaired without unusual delay.

"It could depend on how these players take the ruler to heart (…) if you try to repair a 40-foot putt, the pace of play will be tricky," Schauffele said. "The makers of the rules will be on us – the clock has not changed – if you want to spend 35 seconds on the wire, you will have to pull the trigger less than what you normally do."

Jason Day, two-time winner at Torrey Pines, does not think it will be a problem. His only experience this year was in Kapalua, which included only a group of 33 men.

"Before the rule is changed, you might have two or three times a year type" Oh, there is a peak mark behind your balloon ", so you worry a little bit about the peak brand," Said the day. "I do not necessarily think you're going to stomp in its entirety and try to draw a line.I think there's going to be some pats.Other than that, I think they're going to do it I do not necessarily think it will take a lot of time. "

NO PHIL IN TORREY

Torrey Pines has Tiger Woods on the field, with an inaugural appearance by Rory McIlroy and the return of Jordan Spieth for the first time since 2015.

He will miss Phil Mickelson, who announced last week that he would not be participating in his hometown tournament for the first time in 28 years. Mickelson is a double winner, but not since Rees Jones overhauled the South Course before the opening of the 2008 US Open.

"This is one of the toughest courses we play," said Mickelson last week. "It's 7,600 meters, the fairways are narrow, there's a lot of rough and unless I play my absolute best, it's not really a good place for me."

Over the past 10 years, Mickelson has only been one of the top 10, while he was a finalist in 2011. He missed the cut three times and retired another. year. He said in a tweet that he will "try to catch up on the big community of SD!"

He gave early indications in October when he said that he would miss some tournaments "for which people will be unhappy, but I will not worry about it."

He also stated that he would not play at the Open Genesis in Riviera, where he had won the 2008 and 2009 victories and finished four strokes back from last year.

AUGUSTA NATIONAL WOMEN

Atthaya Thitikul, of Thailand, was the amateur lover of ANA Inspiration last year, the first major on the LPGA Tour's schedule, with a total of under 283 points tied for the 30th with Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr.

This year she will be at the Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Atthaya, NCAA Champion, Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest, and former Junior PGA Champion Lucy Li, were among 66 players who accepted spots in the country's first national female amateur. Augusta this year. There remain six places for the group of 72 players.

The two opening rounds of the 54-hole event will take place on April 3 and 4 at the Champions Treat Golf Club, with a 30-player reduction after 36 holes. A training day at Augusta National was booked for April 5th, followed by the final round at the Masters home.

"Receiving an invitation to the Augusta National Women's Amateur is a reflection of a remarkable amateur career, and so much more," said Fred Ridley, president of the Masters and Club.

The tournament takes place the same week as the LPGA's major, which usually invites big fans.

Among the 66 players who confirmed their invitation to Augusta, are eight of the 16 players from the Ryder Cup junior team last year, as well as the British British Open Amateur Women's Champion, the German Leonie Harm.

Atthaya has been exempted as a female amateur champion in Asia-Pacific.

divots

The Amateur Championship of Latin America will be held next year at the El Camaleon Golf Club in Mayakoba Mexico, site of a PGA Tour event. … The Evian Championship creates a special exemption for the winner of the Amateur Women Asia Pacific Tournament. The winner is also exempt from the British Open Women. … Ken Tanigawa has been voted best rookie of the year on the PGA Tour. The Jack Nicklaus prize of the player of the year has been awarded to Bernhard Langer for the fifth year in a row and for the eighth time since the German turned 50 years old. … Rickie Fowler signed a contract to play the TaylorMade golf ball this year. He had been with Titleist.

STAT OF THE WEEK

Phil Mickelson has held 54 holes four times in the last six years. His only win ahead was the Phoenix Open in 2013.

FINAL WORD

"Ten years older than you have been alive." – Tiger Woods to Jordan Spieth, who asked him how long he's been at Torrey Pines.

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