Sean Foley and Tiger Woods Part Company

tiger seanTiger Woods has split with his swing coach Sean Foley after a miserable year beset by injuries and a winless run in major championships that now stretches back to the 2008 US Open.

The 38-year-old superstar has worked with Foley since 2010 but won no major titles under his tutelage, compared with a combined 14 under his previous two coaches Butch Harmon and Hank Haney.

After seeming destined to overhaul Jack Nicklaus’s all-time record of 18 majors, Woods has not won one of golf’s four big titles for six years while struggling to deal with a catalogue of serious injuries. Woods has worked with Foley in a continued attempt to put less stress on his notoriously damaged left knee but back problems have become his main concern.

Woods underwent surgery on a herniated disc in March but endured a torrid return to the course, completing his worst 72-hole finish at a major at The Open in July. He also missed the cut at the US PGA Championship as it became clear his back problems had not sufficiently healed. 

‘I’d like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship,’ Woods said in a statement on his website. ‘Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him.’

Foley has enjoyed considerable success with other players under his guidance, notably England’s former US Open champion Justin Rose and Hunter Mahan, who won The Barclays tournament in New Jersey on Sunday, part of the lucrative FedEx Cup play-offs

But Woods, who earlier this month pulled out of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in order to let his back recover, has decided to part company with one of the most sought-after swing coaches in the world.


Woods is not scheduled to play until his own tournament in Florida in the first week of December and has used his break from the course to change a key man in his team.

‘With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship,’ added Woods.

Woods’s splits from both Harmon and Haney have ended in acrimony but Foley insisted that the duo are parting on good terms.


‘My time spent with Tiger is one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am appreciative of the many experiences we shared together,’ Foley said in a statement.

‘It was a lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all-time in our sport. I am both grateful for the things we had the opportunity to learn from one another, as well as the enduring friendship we have built. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.’


Despite his six-year duck in majors, Woods did enjoy a superb year in 2013 in which he won five times.

Despite that success, Woods’s struggles with his driver in particular have been all too obvious, which has earned Foley some stern criticism.

Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee, a former PGA Tour player, has been a notable critic, even accusing Woods of developing the ‘yips’ with his driver.

Harmon, who was Woods’s coach during the star’s ‘Tiger Slam’ of four successive major wins from the 2000 US Open to the 2001 Masters, reacted to the news by defending Foley.

‘In Sean’s defense, I had the easiest job in my 10 years,’ said Harmon. ‘He was the healthiest. Sean had the hardest job.’

Rose also backed his coach during an interview with the Golf Channel’s Jason Sobell in New Jersey last week.

‘I think with Tiger they’ve had to work around a lot of things,’ he said. ‘It’s probably very frustrating for Tiger and it’s probably very frustrating for Sean.

‘There are definitely moves that Sean is trying to get out of there that are compromising his health’

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