By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Brandel Chamblee thinks the solution is simple for Tiger Woods.
“He needs to fire Sean [Foley], call Butch [Harmon],” Chamblee said in a teleconference Tuesday. “I think that would get it done right there.”
Woods, who is coming off only the eighth missed cut of his career and his worst-ever performance in the Masters, scoffed at the suggestion.
“Everyone has an opinion, and he's entitled to his,” Woods quipped. “But he's no longer playing anymore, so, so be it.”
Foley, meanwhile, declined to comment, preferring to reference Woods’ statistics. To an extent, he had a point.
Woods ranks 42nd on the PGA TOUR in driving accuracy at 64 percent -- only once in the last five years, in 2009, has he hit more than 60 percent of his fairways -- and is 19th in greens in regulation.
He’s also fourth in total driving and sixth in the all-around category.
Not that Woods hasn’t had his share of struggles.
At Quail Hollow, Woods took 33 putts in the second round. In the Masters, Woods failed to break par in any of his four rounds as he hit just 57 percent of the fairways and 56 percent of the greens.
Just two weeks prior to the Masters, however, Woods won for a seventh time at Bay Hill -- where he led the field in greens in regulation.
“I know he'll never [fire Foley], because he's letting his ego get in the way of common sense,” said Chamblee, who added that Harmon could help Woods find his rhythm again and swing on a flatter plane. “He wants to prove to people he's right. He would rather prove to people he's right than be right.
“He's literally lost the art of the game, and I think Butch could help him.”
For Nick Faldo, he sees Woods’ struggles as more mental than anything else.
“It's self-belief,” Faldo said. “I think when he fears left and the trouble is on the right, we saw this last week, especially the seventh hole at Quail Hollow, the water runs down the right, you need a power fade to feed it in there, and if he fears losing it right, then he pulls it hard left.
“But the real bottom line is for me, he just doesn't have the self-belief, the self-confidence that he obviously had, the Tiger of old, simple as that.”
Woods doesn’t deny that he’s struggled with taking his practice sessions to the course at times while undergoing his latest swing change.
“I've been Ranger Rick before; go out there and stripe it every shot you want, and then you do nothing out there,” he said. “Eventually you stripe it on the range and then you do it at home at your home course, and then you bring it eventually to tournament sites, and eventually to major championships on the back nine on Sunday. There's a process to it, at least in my career there has been. It's worked out OK so far.”
Sean Foley discusses Tiger Woods on PGA TOUR Radio.
Swing coach Sean Foley, speaking to PGA TOUR Radio’s Matt Adams, said the “tearing down” of Tiger Woods has “become too much … just out of hand.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Sometimes change is good, or necessary, or both.
Enter Adam Scott, who split with longtime caddie Tony Navarro following last week’s PLAYERS Championship, where he missed the cut. Scott said he’s had a great relationship with Navarro through the years, but “the cliche, all good things come to an end.”
The move doesn’t seem to have impacted Scott, who is using Camilo Villegas’ now-former looper Michael Doran this week, negatively so far -- Scott is 4 under through 15 holes at Colonial and near the top of the leaderboard.
As for the decision to split, it was an amicable one.
"There were issues that had nothing to do with on the golf course or with us," Navarro, who lives in Moline, Ill., told the Quad City Times. "It's just a few things weren't going to work out. I told him I wouldn't quit, so he would have to fire me.
"It wouldn't have been any different had we won the Masters. It was an unavoidable circumstance in the middle of our relationship that we couldn't overcome."
Sometimes a change of scenery, like in other sports, is just good for a team, or in this case an individual. We saw the same thing last week, for example, with Sean O’Hair, who recently parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley and then had a season-best finish, a tie for 19th, at THE PLAYERS.
O’Hair and Foley remain close, much the way Navarro expects to with Scott.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods had hoped to play 72 holes this week at TPC Sawgrass. Instead, he played just nine ( click here for story ), and his swing coach Sean Foley didn’t sound terribly surprised that he wasn’t able to go on.
Woods had been dealing with a little bit of a limp all week and was sore after his practice session on Wednesday, according to Foley.
When Woods came off the range Monday at Isleworth, he felt good. Same thing Tuesday when he practiced for nine holes at TPC Sawgrass. After nine more holes on Wednesday, Woods, who hadn’t played competitively in 28 days since the final round of the Masters, was experiencing soreness.
“At the end of the day if it’s been bothered before it doesn’t ever really truly heal,” Foley said. “You can be functional and productive on it but this comes from a guy that works hard and trains hard and is a perfectionist. The guy’s created a lot of speed for a lot of time. He’s an athlete and he’s fit but you can’t overuse your body that much and not have … there’s going to be some issues.”
On the opening tee shot Thursday, Woods seemed to be suffering from those issues. Then on the fourth hole Woods said the knee “grabbed me” as he pulled his tee shot left.
After a bogey on the ninth -- by which point Woods was walking with a heavy limp and using a club for support -- Woods couldn’t go on ( click here to react ).
“Obviously the guy loves to play the game,” said Foley, who has yet to speak to Woods but expects to at some point Thursday. “It’s the flagship event of the PGA TOUR so I think he was going to give it a try.
“The guy’s played hurt a lot and for him to withdraw it probably had to be bothering him pretty good. It just goes to show he obviously needs more time.”
How much time no one yet knows.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer
Sean O’Hair has parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley, the two sides confirmed Tuesday.
O’Hair, whom Foley coached for the last three years, also withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship on Monday, citing personal reasons.
Under Foley, O’Hair won the 2009 Wells Fargo Championship and made the Presidents Cup team. This season, however, has been a struggle.
In 10 starts, O’Hair has missed six cuts, including his last five in a row. He has just one finish in the top 25 this year.
The decision was O’Hair’s, according to Foley, who got the phone call from O’Hair on Monday night.
“We will always be close,” Foley said via text message. “He is a great guy just going through a bad stretch of golf and felt he needed another direction.”
Earlier this year, O’Hair fired his caddie Brennan Little, who took over his bag after O’Hair let go of Paul Tesori at the end of last year.
Other players in Foley’s stable include of course Tiger Woods, whom he began working with last August, as well as Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose and Stephen Ames.
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods just made the turn in 5-under 31, saving par from a greenside bunker on No. 9.
Meanwhile, Woods’ coach, Sean Foley, is watching from afar on a plane to New York, where he will speak to the Metropolitan section of the New York PGA.
Of course if Woods wins he too might end up in New York as is sometimes the tradition for the Masters champion to make the rounds on the TV talk show circuit.