Monday, May 10, 2010
Updated: May 11, 12:34 PM ET
Haney resigns as Woods' swing coach
ESPN.com news services
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods' swing coach has resigned.
Hank Haney says in a statement to the Golf Channel that he enjoyed working with Woods but he thinks it's time for him to step aside as his coach. Haney says it was his decision.
"I have informed Tiger Woods this evening that I will no longer be his coach," Haney said in a statement posted on his website. "I would like to thank Tiger for the opportunity that I have had to work with him over the past [six-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."
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.
"I talked to Hank about some of the stuff. We're still working on it," Woods said. "We have a lot of work to do. I can't make the movements that I made before because of the neck. I need to get healthy to play the proper way."
Haney's resignation is another blow for Woods, who was forced to withdraw during the final round at TPC Sawgrass because of neck spasms. 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.
Woods plans to have an MRI when he returns to Orlando, Fla. He has struggled since tying for fourth at the Masters, his first competition in five months.
He said his schedule is "up in the air" and could be based on what is uncovered in the MRI.
Woods said during Monday's news conference 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.
Woods, who was in suburban Philadelphia on Monday to promote this summer's AT&T National, said he's been taking anti-inflammatory drugs, but they have not helped. He was noncommittal about playing in the U.S. Open on June 17-20 at Pebble Beach.
Haney was right by Woods' side as he prepared to compete in the Masters in his first tournament since a sex scandal shattered his image.
"As we all know, Tiger has been through a lot in the past 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," Haney said. "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."
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.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.