Woods puts spotlight on drivers

July 2, 2003 at 4:04 PM

LEMONT, Ill., July 2 (UPI) -- As usual, Tiger Woods is the center of attention at a PGA Tour event, but this time it's not only because of his golf game.

Woods' comments about so-called "hot-faced" drivers have drawn a lot of attention at the Western Open, which begins Thursday at the Cog Hill Golf and Country Club.

The world's No. 1 player and some others on tour say there is increasing use of drivers with flexible heads that propel balls beyond allowable speeds, resulting in greater distance.

USA Today quoted Woods as saying, "I used to hit a 3-wood farther than some of these guys could hit a driver. Now I can't hit it past them with driver."

Woods, a two-time Western Open winner, has dropped to 30th in driving distance, a usual top 10 category for him.

The PGA Tour, faced with mounting questions about drivers, will begin on-site testing of them by Jan. 1.

"The rumors are running rampant, and we need to take the rumors out of the game," said tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.

Defending champion Jerry Kelly said there are probably "hot-faced" drivers being used by unsuspecting players.

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