Date: February 05, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Putting lab has Lyle primed for Torrey Pines

Aussie Jarrod Lyle says a timely trip to the Scotty Cameron putting laboratory has him primed for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Lyle, who needs to bank cash after coming back from his long-term medical exemption to keep his US PGA Tour card, spent time last week in San Diego to iron out his putting stroke.

And after some intense research, Lyle will pack a new putter when he tees up at the famous Californian course when the “west coast swing” begins in earnest tomorrow.

“We spent a lot of time working on the stroke and I went in there (the Cameron studio) with a couple of ideas for a different putter to get the ball in the hole,” Lyle wrote on his website’s blog.

“They made these up for me on the spot and have put one in straight away. It’s been rolling very well during practice so it will be nice to get out there and put it in play.”

In a week dominated by discussion on the form of Tiger Woods after his career-worst 82 last week in Phoenix, Lyle said the Torrey course was set up tough.

“(It) sets up long and tight and this year they have the rough up nice and tall and it’s very thick, so hitting it straight and long will be a good thing,” he said.

“I was fortunate enough to play the US Open here in 2008 and have played four other events around here so I know the course reasonably well and look forward to getting amongst it.”

Woods again looked downbeat on the practice range today, reported by many veteran watchers as struggling with his swing, revised again after his most recent injuries with new mentor Chris Como.

Woods has won at Torrey eight times, including that 2008 US Open, but his short game has been nothing short of disastrous in his past two outings.

His nine-hole pro-am appearance today wasn’t sharp either, with just two fairways hit and only three greens in regulation.

On the second and third holes of Torrey Pines' North Course, he took at least 25 practice chips on each as the rest of his group finished out the hole.

The extra practice didn't seem to help any on the par-3 sixth. After missing the green right, Woods flubbed his first chip, leaving it in the rough, before powering his next one well past the hole.

"It's just battling, trying to find it, at the same time trying to get feel and develop new patterns,” he said afterwards, confirming he’d rushed back to Florida to spend days practising after he missed the cut in Arizona.

“When you're under the gun, you’ve got to hit a shot, you just get so target-oriented that sometimes old patterns come out and then you have a new one that's still trying to come out as well and you get caught."