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Hard-hitting Woods eschews swing coach after back surgery

By Andrew Both

By Andrew Both

LA JOLLA, California (Reuters) - Tiger Woods was hitting the ball as hard as he ever had and has decided to work without a swing coach because no-one could really tell him how to react after back surgery last April and he would rather rely on his own instincts.

"No-one's had a spinal fusion at (this) level and been able to hit the ball as hard as I do," Woods said on the eve of the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open.

"So I'd like to meet somebody who can swing it over 120 miles per hour (mph) with a fused back. Do you know anybody?

"No-one understands that, so I have to rely on my own feels and play around with what my body can and cannot do.

"I don't have the mobility that I used to and that's just the reality."

Woods is now generating a clubhead speed of around 125 mph with his driver, comparable to the best on tour, and almost as fast as the 126-128 mph when he was at his prime.

"My surgeon said once (the back is) fused, you'll have speed like you did back in your early 30s," said Woods.

"And he's right, because there's no pain. I'm not flinching. It doesn't hurt to take the club back, doesn't hurt right before impact, doesn't hurt after impact, doesn't hurt when I walk.

"I can let it go, I can hit it and I'm getting the ball out there a little bit.

"Now I've got to start doing it in a tournament. It's going to take a little time but I'm looking forward to it."

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)