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Big Play
May 26, 2008
WHO Ryuji Imada
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May 26, 2008

Big Play

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Ryuji Imada

244-yard three-wood approach

576-yard par-5 18th hole at TPC Sugarloaf

Final round of the AT&T Classic

Imada is the best player you've never heard of. With a simple, powerful swing, he has steadily climbed the ranks over the last seven years. From 2002 to '04 on the Nationwide tour he finished 105th, 37th and third in earnings, while on the PGA Tour since 2005 he's been 121st, 92nd, 65th and now fourth. Needing a birdie to force a playoff, he flushed a three-wood over the lake even though the ball was well below his feet and he had splashed the same shot in a playoff at this event last year.

Ball below Your Feet? No Problem!

The key to this shot is the setup. Widen your stance, flex your knees more and tilt forward a bit more at the waist, so you're almost squatting. Then aim left of the target because the ball will fade. A three-quarters-length swing, back and through, makes it easier to keep your balance. Most important, maintain the modified posture through the entire swing.

Steve Bosdosh teaches at the Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville, Md.