Tiger Woods delivered yet another sub-par performance this week, failing to even make the cut at the U.S. Open. He shot an 80 on Thursday and a 76 on Friday at Chambers Bay, thus extending a personal major drought that dates back to the 2008 U.S. Open.
Woods didn’t just look bad, either. He looked downright awful.
“Well, it’s really nothing that we haven’t seen for quite some time,” former Woods swing coach Hank Haney said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “He shot 85 at Memorial a couple weeks ago. If you look at his statistics and kind of follow it closely, he’s second from last on the tour in driving accuracy, he’s second from last on the tour in greens and regulation, he’s 196th from 50 to 125 yards, and he’s dead last on the tour in scrambling. Those are all key statistical categories. If you looked at anybody’s statistics and they said that, you wouldn’t expect much out of them – except that this is Tiger Woods and everybody thinks that he can just turn it around. But this is a hard venue to just all of a sudden turn it around.”
But what about Woods’ mechanics? What is he doing that has caused his swing to be this inaccurate and this erratic?
“I think that’s an interesting question because when you look at his golf swing, it doesn’t look that bad that it should be that inaccurate,” Haney said. “Everybody points to his head dropping down. That’s something that he’s fought for a long time. It’s something that I worked on (with him). I was with Tiger for six years, but his golf swing has changed a little bit. Having said that, it doesn’t look like it should hit the kind of wild shots that he’s hitting. When he’s on the driving range, he appears by all accounts to be hitting the ball pretty good, but he just can’t take it to the golf course.”
But why not? Is this just a process Woods has to go through, or is it something else entirely? It is an issue with current swing coach Chris Como? Is it because this is Woods’ fourth coach? Where is the disconnect?
“I think it’s all of the above,” Haney said. “Everybody looks for a simple answer to complicated questions, but I think it’s all of the above. All the reasons you gave are all valid. More tournament competition. He’s been out of golf four out of the last eight years if you add up the total that he’s missed. That’s a big issue. Always changing his swing, having different thoughts in there – there’s some things that he’s doing in his swing that I just know are very, very difficult for him to do. You can look on the outside and say he just needs to do this and this, but it’s different when you get in there and all of a sudden you realize that he had a hard time doing certain things on the golf course.”
Doug Gottlieb wonders whether Woods should swallow his pride and give Haney a call. Or Butch Harmon.
Haney, however, doesn’t see this happening.
“I don’t think there’s any likelihood of that happening,” he said. “I don’t think Tiger ever goes back. That’s just not what he does. I can’t see that happening at all. He’s kind of entrenched in what he’s doing. He’s eight months into this. He doesn’t have much to show for it in terms of his game, but I don’t see that happening. He knows what he needs to do. There’s nothing to say that he hasn’t tinkered with. . . . It’s baffling to everybody when you have something that’s very successful and you go away from it. To me, if you get lost, all you have to do is retrace your steps back to where you’ve been, and it would be a logical conclusion that he should do that. But then again, it’s his game. It’s not my game. It’s not Butch’s game. It’s not (anybody else’s) game. It’s Tiger’s game.”