Tiger Woods Parts Ways with Swing Coach Sean Foley

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer IAugust 25, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 06:  Tiger Woods (L) of the United States walks with golf instructor Sean Foley (R) during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 6, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Following another disappointing finish to the major season, Tiger Woods has decided to part ways with Sean Foley, his swing coach for the last four years.

The 14-time major winner released a statement on the decision, per TigerWoods.com.

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

Due to his health, Woods has been struggling to find consistency and remain on the course. He recently withdrew from Ryder Cup contention, as he did not feel he could help the team.

While Foley was unable to help him win a major during their time together, Woods enjoyed plenty of success with him as a swing coach. Woods moved in and out of the No. 1 spot, but injuries derailed any chances of a major win.

The timing of the announcement is strange, as Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel notes:

With Hunter Mahan establishing himself atop the FedEx Cup standings Sunday at The Barclays, it's clear that Foley's coaching works. So though Foley is done with Woods, he works with several notable players on the PGA Tour.

Michael Collins of ESPN.com passed along his thoughts:

In his announcement that he would part ways with Foley, Woods didn't give any indication of his plans for the future. Per his release, he said, "Presently, I do not have a coach, and there is no timetable for hiring one."

During their time together, Woods won a total of eight PGA Tour events. But without a major to show for his time, Foley comes away as the least successful coach for Woods during his career.

Woods' former swing coach Butch Harmon commented on the decision, per Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel:

Needless to say, Woods' health will be just as important for his future as his new swing coach will be.

While Woods was reluctant to announce who will take over, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes he should return to Harmon:

Justin Ray of the Golf Channel passed along Woods' success rate under his previous swing coaches:

In order to return to the top of the golf world, Woods will need a strong 2015 season. After scuffling all season and never establishing himself as a contender, his dominance in the sport has been questioned.

With the rise of young players such as Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, Woods is in desperate need of a change to his approach. He hasn't won a major since 2008, so the window might be closing as the next wave of talent rises in the sport.

A new swing coach might be able to help lead a resurgence for Woods, but it's not likely unless he remains healthy. Woods needs four more majors to tie Jack Nicklaus' all-time record, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Woods after Foley.


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