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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Of Course, He's the King of Golf Swings

March 20, 2001|LARRY STEWART

This should come as no surprise. Tiger Woods has the best swing of any golfer, and there is scientific proof.

NBC has a new feature called "ModelGolf" in which the swings of PGA Tour players are analyzed against a "model" swing, derived by analyzing the swings of more than 100 pros.

In a segment during Saturday's coverage of the Bay Hill Invitational, which Woods won, it was shown that Woods registered the highest score of any golfer against the "model."

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No one's perfect: NBC commentator Gary Koch, the host of Saturday's "ModelGolf" segment on Woods, said:

"Tiger generates an enormous amount of club-head speed by turning his hips faster than any player on the tour. However, his overemphasis on rotation, coupled with his wide stance, places his head slightly back of impact.

"This position results in a tendency to push the ball right if it becomes excessive, which is where his poor shots are inclined to go."

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Trivia time: Who was USC's coach when the Trojans reached the Final Four in 1954?

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Making room: When Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire were teammates with the Oakland Athletics, they were best friends.

McGwire played first base, which Giambi inherited after McGwire was traded to St. Louis.

"I tell people when he was traded away, that was the greatest day of my career and the worst day of my career," Giambi told Roy Firestone for a special edition of "Up Close" that will be shown on ESPN Wednesday at 4 p.m. "I'd just lost my best friend, but it gave me a spot to play in."

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A budding star: The person inside Stanford's mascot, the Tree, is not "a guy," as St. Joseph's Coach Phil Martelli assumed.

" 'That guy' is a senior coed named Alex Newell, a former volleyball player who is, pardon the expression, a transplant from England," wrote Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle.

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The Tree's revenge: FitzGerald reports that in a first-person story for ESPN.com, the Tree said:

"The Washington Husky won't come anywhere near me. It makes sense. He's been relieving himself on trees for years, and suddenly this one has come to life and is walking toward him. He thinks I'm seeking revenge for all the trees he has ever wronged."

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Not infectious: From Jay Leno: "Kobe Bryant has a viral infection, but the good news is, chances are, he won't pass it on to his teammates."

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Trivia answer: Forrest Twogood. USC lost to Bradley in the semifinals, 74-72.

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And finally: How important was Saturday's victory over Boston College to USC's basketball program? Well, consider this: USC's game on Channel 2 drew a 5.4 rating and a 15 share. UCLA's earlier game against Utah State, a 75-50 rout, got a 3.5 with an 11.

How often does USC get a higher L.A. rating than UCLA in basketball?

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