Truth & Rumors: Haney says Tiger return 'up for debate'

Tiger Woods’ former coach Hank Haney didn’t hold his tongue in an interview with The Scotman’s John Huggan. Haney doesn’t think an American will win the British Open, he’s got some questions about Tiger’s return, and he’s not that impressed by Rory McIlroy’s win at last month’s U.S. Open. On Tiger:

"Tiger isn't the best player right now," says Haney, ever the pragmatist. "Not right this minute. He isn't even a player at the moment. And whether he will be again is up for debate. There are questions to be answered. Can his body stand up to the practice he is going to have to do? That's doubtful at best. In the last three years and a bit, he has missed maybe 15 months of playing time.
"Somehow, he is going to have to get into a condition that allows him to play and practise a lot in order to get his game back. And I mean a lot, not a couple of weeks or three or four events; he's got to play a lot of golf. Can his body do that? We'll see.
On McIlroy:
He is a great young talent, but everything went his way at Congressional. It looked a lot like any other PGA Tour event so I'm not sure what was so special about it. The rough wasn't that deep and the greens were really soft. That's not a great combination, especially for the US Open. I don't rate Rory's performance -- good as it was -- with Tiger winning by 15 at Pebble Beach in 2000. There's no comparison, as Rory said himself."
If you’re not following Haney on Twitter, you really should be. Pippa Middleton turning heads at UK golf course Pippa Middleton, the breakout star of April’s royal wedding between her sister Kate Middleton and Prince William, has joined a golf club, according to The Telegraph UK.
Mandrake hears that Pippa, 27, who is courting the former England cricketer Alex Loudon, has joined the golf club at Bradfield College, a boarding school a few miles away from the Middleton family’s home in Berkshire.
“It’s the talk of the club,” gushes one member, somewhat breathlessly. A member of staff at Bradfield College Golf Club confirms that the Middletons have been spotted on the greens. However, Nick Barton, the club secretary, declines to celebrate his glamorous recruit.
We’re guessing Pippa will have a lot of volunteer coaches on the range. Harrington says McIlroy has nothing to fear but fear itself Padraig Harrington has identified a surprising potential threat to Rory McIlroy: fear. He explains it to ESPN UK:
"Kids coming into the game are usually fearless; they have no scars, no mental damage," Harrington said. "They fire at pins where there's water, there's no anxiety. Usually those players are not -- I won't use the word 'bright', because it's not to do with intelligence - but usually they don't think anything through. They just go about their business.
"But when the can of worms opens, all of a sudden that playing with freedom, the naivety, the ease of their game, is gone. Suddenly there are complications. Look at careers that have gone completely off the wall. There was no fear, then all of a sudden there is fear.
"Rory is still young. He's had a few hard lessons that will help him get there. I think Rory's at a saturation point: you can throw more pressure on him but he's already at the point where more pressure doesn't show up. He has got unbelievable focus. But can he have, long-term, no fear?
There’s a reason Padraig Harrington’s considered one of the best interviews in golf.  Tweet of the Day From Sports Illustrated's Gary Van Sickle: Gary_tweet

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