American Century Championship: It was time to move on Hank Haney says
Nevada Appeal News Service
Hank Haney offered few additional details Wednesday as to why he resigned as Tiger Woods’ swing coach earlier this month.
“My time was near the end no matter what,” Haney said during a teleconference promoting the 21st American Century Championship in Stateline. “Six years is a long time to be a coach for the best player in the game. Every coaching situation has a life span.”
Haney reportedly informed Woods of his decision to resign by text message.
“There wasn’t a specific reason (for splitting up). For myself, it was time to move on,” Haney said.
Haney said that Woods’ off-the-course carousing and admitted infidelities had nothing to do with his decision.
“His personal problems, that wasn’t part of my decision to be honest,” Haney said. “I’m not sure that didn’t have an impact on the people around Tiger, (though).”
Their split appeared to be amicable. Woods has thanked Haney for his contributions to his game and called him a “great friend.”
During their partnership, Woods won six major championships to extend his career total to 14 – four behind all-time leader Jack Nicklaus.
Woods withdrew from the final round of The Players Championship on May 9 because of a neck injury. He hasn’t played in a PGA Tour event since but announced on Wednesday that he’ll make his return on June 3 at the Memorial, where he is the defending champion.
As Phil Mickelson closes in on overtaking Woods as the world’s No. 1 player, Haney believes his former pupil will again return to the top of his game. Before withdrawing from the TPC, Woods missed the cut at Quail Hollow.
“I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t. He hasn’t lost any of his skills,” Haney said. “He’s gone through a rough patch in his life. He’s played nine tournament rounds (in 2010) and everybody is making a big deal how he played in one tournament.
“When he gets his mind free and body injury free, he’ll be back playing golf like everybody knows he can. He has an incredible amount of talent, and it’s not going anywhere.”
In the past two seasons, Haney has added two high-profile clients to his workload – Charles Barkley and Ray Romano – helping the struggling celebrity golfers on the reality show “The Haney Project.” There is no indication if those extra duties strained his relationship with Woods.
Haney doesn’t hesitate to say which player is the hardest to coach. The 32-year golf coach said that Woods is a challenge to coach because he expects the teacher to constantly make improvements in his overall game.
“When you have somebody that is arguably the best player in the game, and you’re looking for things to get better, that’s a tough task. With Charles, anything is an improvement,” Haney said.