SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Tiger Woods worked with coach Sean Foley at the Whistling Straits driving range after his opening round 71 at the PGA Championship on Thursday, fueling speculation that Foley would become Woods's next swing coach. Woods has been working as his own swing instructor since Hank Haney resigned as Woods's coach in May, but earlier in the week Woods consulted with Foley during a practice round with Foley's students Sean O'Hair and Hunter Mahan.
"[Foley] was watching Hunter and Sean and I did ask him to film a couple, I would like to take a look at, which I did, so I'm headed in the right direction," Woods said after the practice round, leaving open the possibility of working with Foley in the future.
"Certainly it's a possibility — no doubt," Woods said. "But there are also a lot of other coaches out there as a possibility as well that I've talked to."
Woods's agent Mark Steinberg told The Golf Channel on Thursday that "Sean is not Tiger's official swing coach. As Tiger said in the media center early this week, he asked Sean to take a look at Tiger's swing. That is what Sean is doing and is simply providing feedback on what he has seen."
Foley, 35, already coaches some the game's top players, including Mahan, O'Hair, Stephen Ames and Justin Rose. He's known for an eclectic teaching style that combines kinetics, physics, philosophy and even hip-hop music. In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Farrell Evans earlier this year, Foley outlined his unorthodox teaching style.
"The mainstream tries to teach the effect, and I'm talking about cause and effect," Foley said. "For example, when a guy is getting the club stuck behind him, some instructors will get him to do a drill to get his arms in front of his body. But the fact of the matter is that his arms aren't pinned behind his body because of his arms."
Since parting ways with Haney in May, Woods has been without a swing coach for the first time in his life. Before working with Haney from 2004-2010, Woods was Butch Harmon's star pupil when Woods turned pro in 1996. Woods's first coach, of course, was his father, Earl, who died in 2006.