Tiger Woods says thanks, but no Hank
By Andrew Both in Greensboro, N Carolina
Tiger Woods was so disgusted with his form at last month’s Open Championship that he decided to tweak his swing, and the results were immediately apparent as he blew away the field to win the World Golf Championships in Ohio, before capturing the US PGA title in Oklahoma last week.
To suggest his coach, Hank Haney, is on the way out any time soon would be an exaggeration, but Woods increasingly is working on his own. Haney was not at the PGA and is not expected to be a regular presence at tournaments Woods plays in for the foreseeable future.
One man who has noticed the changes in Woods’ swing is Ian Baker-Finch, the 1991 Open champion who is now a commentator with the American CBS network.
“Hank and Tiger are great friends. They continue to talk and Hank is still Tiger’s coach in a way, but I think Tiger is using Hank more as a sounding board,” Baker-Finch said.
“Tiger is doing a lot of stuff that he used to do and it was obvious the past two weeks that he has changed his swing. Hank’s teaching methods certainly helped Tiger gain more power and the ability to shape the ball better, but at the Open he didn’t seem to have a go-to shot under pressure.
“Tiger, under pressure, likes to trap the ball by standing closer and more over the ball, with his hands closer to his knees. That allows him to get the shaft on a more upright path and hit better controlled, low-flighted iron shots, and he certainly showed that the last couple of weeks.”