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by Brian Hewitt

What on earth, you ask, could Tiger Woods’ short game at the Hero World Challenge possibly have in common with a large Super Bowl party? The answer:

Nine different chili dips.

Meanwhile, the inspection last week of Tiger’s new/old full swing after a four-month layoff was ceaseless. It threatened to approach, in detail and sheer volume, the analyses at the Pentagon of Putin’s troop movements in the Ukraine.

The good news for the flu-ridden Woods, despite finishing tied for last: His surgically repaired back appears pain free and his swing speed has gained a few MPHs.

That said, if I’m Chris Como, Tiger’s latest flavor-of-the-month coach, I’m nervous. Chip yips, if left to fester, are nasty, toxic, neural, contagious, malignant, malicious and downright scary.

Right now, Tiger has a case. And he caught it on a course, Isleworth, he has played, by his own admission, more than a thousand times.

Jordan Spieth, on the other hand, has no nerves and lots of nerve. After commandeering the Australian Open two Sundays ago, he arrived in Florida brimming with confidence and game.

His margin of victory at Isleworth was a whopping 10 shots. And his future is suddenly even bigger and wider than the berth given the baboon that lumbered across Luke Donald’s path on the course Friday at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

Donald, the 54-hole leader, niftily dodged the feral simian but couldn’t avoid the Sunday charge of Danny Willett, who blew the field away with a closing 66.

Finally, we invite you inside our year-ending issue, to enjoy celebratory pieces on our Players of the Year – Stacy Lewis and Rory McIlroy.


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