After Tiger Woods looked rusty in his post-surgery return at the Quicken Loans National last month, he raised some eyebrows when he said he wouldn’t play again until the British Open.
If Woods wanted to have his game in shape for the year’s next major, critics wondered, why wouldn’t he play in the Greenbrier or the Scottish Open? Woods’ former coach Hank Haney has an idea: Woods just doesn’t care that much about winning the British Open.
"That he isn’t going to play competitively in the two weeks running up to the Open speaks to the fact that he doesn’t care as much as he used to,” contends Haney. “Still, you can’t win if you don’t enter. Maybe he will catch lightning in a bottle. But I really think he is using the Open to get ready for the PGA at Valhalla next month. That’s a much more realistic target for him.”
From what he saw of Woods at the Quicken Loans event, Haney said Woods still has problems with his swing beyond “rust.”
“Tiger’s swing looked the same as it did before he left. Speaking as a fan, that was more than a little disappointing. I didn’t see anything different. He was still setting up for a big slice off the tee. Other people might call it a fade, but that isn’t a fade Tiger is hitting, it’s a slice.”
Haney coached Woods from 2004 until after the 2010 Masters, and since they stopped working together, Haney has become one of Woods’ sharpest critics. After splitting with Woods, Haney published “The Big Miss,” a revealing book –- Woods thought too revealing –- about their time together. Earlier this year, Haney said that Woods’ weight-training has been bad for his golf swing.
Haney does not currently work with any players on the PGA Tour. He has a radio show on Sirius XM.