MEMO TO TIGER WOODS ON HankHaney.Com on Monday:
May 10, 2010
I have informed Tiger Woods this evening that I will no longer be his coach.
I would like to thank Tiger for the opportunity that I have had to work with him over the past 6 plus years. Tiger Woods has done the work to achieve a level of greatness that I believe the game of golf has never seen before and I will always appreciate the opportunity that I have had to contribute to his successes. I have also enjoyed the association that I have had with Tiger both on and off the golf course as I have had some incredible experiences. In coaching and teaching Tiger I have also learned a lot, not only about golf, but about people and life in general. It has been a great learning experience and along the way Tiger has elevated me in my own profession to a level that I never thought I would achieve before I had the opportunity to work with him.
In many ways because of all of the time that I have spent with Tiger, I may have learned more from him than he has ever learned from me. So I believe at this time that it is in both of our best interests for me to step aside as Tiger’s coach.
I will always look back upon our past half dozen years together as my best days in professional golf. It would be a dream of any coach to have a student like Tiger Woods and for me it was a dream come true. Just so there is no confusion I would like to make it clear that this is my decision. Tiger Woods and I will always be friends, but I believe that there is a time and place for everything and I feel at this time and at this place in my life I want to move forward in other areas.
Tiger has been just an incredible performer in golf and he has achieved great success throughout his career. First with his father Earl, and then with Butch Harmon as his coach, followed by me, I know Tiger Woods will be successful in the future no matter who helps him. He is an incredible athlete with an incredible work ethic. As we all know, Tiger has been through a lot in the last six months, and I really believe that given the chance, mind free and injury free, we will all see Tiger Woods play once again like we all know he can.
I wish Tiger well, not only with his golf, but in finding peace and happiness in all aspects of his life. Tiger knows that if he ever needs me in any way, whether it be with his golf or just as a friend he can always call. I will always, as I have been in the past, be there for him. From a personal standpoint, I look forward to being able to make many more contributions to the great game of golf in the days and years ahead.
Hank Haney dumped Tiger Woods on Monday.
On Tuesday, Haney would not dump on Woods, the world’s No. 1 ranked player who’s philandering ways have made for easy fodder for pundits, columnists, and comedians.
Haney told ESPN’s Hannah Storm on SportsCenter on Tuesday almost exactly what he posted in his statement on his Web site, and he became perturbed by Storm’s re-address of the timing of his departure from the Woods camp.
Haney stood by Woods and wouldn’t discuss Tiger’s personal problems.
Haney said he enjoyed working with Woods, and that he knew their relationship would end at some point, but it was the natural progression of Haney’s career that led to his decision to quit in the middle of the current, heated season.
On Monday night, Haney emphasized that he was not fired and just feels it is time to “move forward in other areas.”
“Just so there is no confusion, I would like to make it clear that this is my decision,” Haney said in the statement.
And on ESPN, he told Storm: “Look, I have other opportunities including my show on the Golf channel and I need to focus on what is ahead of me.”
On Tuesday, Woods posted a short comment on his website that said they have agreed Haney will no longer work with him: “Hank Haney and I have agreed that he will no longer be my coach. Hank is an outstanding teacher and has been a great help to me, but equally importantly he is a friend. That will not change. I would like to thank him for all he has done for me the past six years.”
After returning to golf and finishing in fourth place at the Master’s, Woods took several weeks off, only to return and miss the cut at Quail Hollow. Last weekend Woods withdrew in the final round of The Players Championship with a sore neck. It was the first time as a professional where he played consecutive tournaments without earning official money.
There had been speculation at The Players Championship last weekend that Woods was about to end his partnership with Haney, his swing coach since 2004. But Woods said earlier Monday he was working with Haney on his swing.
For Woods, last week was nothing more than a little bit of history repeating. It was his first withdrawal from a tournament since the Nissan Open at Riviera in 2006, and came on the heels of his missed cut at Quail Hollow following the highest 36-hole score of his career.
He said on his Web site that his schedule is “up in the air” and could be based on what is uncovered in the MRI.
Woods said Monday that his neck started bothering him two weeks before the Masters. He brushed it off as “no big deal” and believed he could play through the pain. That changed on Sunday at The Players Championship, where his creaky neck locked up and prevented him from making his usual forceful turn on the ball on even a routine shot.