Tiger Woods has split with golf swing coach Sean Foley after four years and no majors
The former world golf nos.1 said on his website yesterday he will no longer work with Foley, the Canadian golf coach whom he hired when his golf game was at its low point following the upheaval with his marriage. The Tiger Woods announcement came one day after another Foley pupil, Hunter Mahan, won The Barclays 2014 in the FedEx Cup play-offs on the PGA TOUR.
”I’d like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship,” Tiger Woods said. ”Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him.”
Woods has been coping with back problems for more than 12 months. He had back surgery 31 March 2014 to alleviate a pinched nerve, forcing him to miss two golf majors during his three months of recovery. Woods missed two cuts, withdrew from another golf tournament and had his worst 72-hole finish in a golf major after returning to competitive action.
Woods is taking three months off in a bid to regain his full strength, and said this would be the right time to separate from Foley. The multiple makor champion is not scheduled to play again until his World Challenge in Orlando, Florida, the first week in December 2014.
Woods does not have a golf swing coach and said there was no timetable to hire one.
”My time spent with Tiger is one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am appreciative of the many experiences we shared together,” Foley said in a statement posted on Tiger Woods’ website.
Foley was the third coach Woods hired as a touring professional.
Woods began working with Butch Harmon as a teenager, and they changed his golf swing twice. The biggest overhaul was after Woods won the US Masters at Augusta National by 12 strokes. Many believe the new golf swing produced Woods’ most dominant golf, though he also was in his early 20s and had not had serious health issues. Woods won eight major golf championships while working with Harmon, including seven in 11 attempts and an unprecedented sweep of them in 2000-01. They parted company in 2003.
Woods went onto work with coach Hank Haney and produced another memorable stretch with an entirely different golf swing. In a two-year period covering 34 pro golf tournaments, Woods won 18 times (including four major events) and was runner-up six times. That run ended with the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, followed by major knee surgery.
That was his 14th major win, and Woods has not won another grand slam event since. He remains four majors short of the record held by compatriot Jack Nicklaus.
Haney confirmed he was leaving Woods, although those close to Woods felt a split was imminent. Woods went through most of the 2010 without a golf coach until hooking up with Canadian Sean Foley for the first time at the 2010 IS PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
Woods won three times on the PGA Tour in 2012, and then delivered a five-win season in 2013 when he returned to World Golf No. 1. Woods rarely challenged in the major championships, some of that because of injury.
Woods missed two majors in 2011 while letting leg injuries fully heal. Woods had a share of the 36-hole lead in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in 2012, but he was not a factor on Sunday. He was two shots off the lead going into the final round of the 2013 British Open and fell back quickly.
He missed two more majors in 2014 because of injury.
Foley, who first worked with Stephen Ames, has Hunter Mahan and 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose among his clients.
”It was a lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport,” Foley said. ”I am both grateful for the things we had the opportunity to learn from one another, as well as the enduring friendship we have built. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.”
Source: PGA of America and Tiger Woods