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Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Hank Haney stunned Woods fired caddie

By Richard Durrett

Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former coach, was stunned by the news that Woods fired longtime caddie Steve Williams on Wednesday.

“I’m shocked,” Haney said. “Steve is the best caddie I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe that he got fired.”

Haney, who has worked in Dallas for more than two decades, was Woods’ swing coach for six seasons before resigning as Woods’ coach in May 2010. Woods won 32 PGA Tour events, including six majors, while working with Haney.

Haney said he’s happy that Williams will be working for a top player in Adam Scott. But the coach is surprised Woods would make this kind of change. Woods won 13 of his major titles with Williams by his side.

“He’s won so many tournaments with Steve Williams on the bag,” Haney said. “He’s the best caddie I’ve been around. I’m surprised. He’s been such a great supporter for Tiger.”

Haney believes Woods can get back to competing for major championships again, but has to get fully healthy first.

“You have to get where you can practice,” Haney said. “Will he get healthy enough to practice and prepare? Once he does that, there’s no reason to believe he can’t be competitive again and win tournaments and majors again. He has the experience and skill.”

Haney believes that if Woods is healthy, he can still pass Jack Nicklaus’ mark of 18 major championships.

“He’s got plenty of time to do it,” Haney said. “He hasn’t lost his skills. But he hasn’t been able to play much or practice and nobody’s good enough to compete at golf if they can’t practice or prepare. If he’s healthy, he can do it.”