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.
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:
Funny timing on Tiger's announcement to part ways with Sean Foley. Foley's student Hunter Mahan won Barclays yesterday.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) August 25, 2014
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:
Butch Harmon on Sean Foley news: "In Sean’s defense, I had the easiest job in my 10 years. He was the healthiest. Sean had the hardest job."— Rex Hoggard (@RexHoggardGC) August 25, 2014
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:
Tiger Woods announces Sean Foley will no longer be his swing coach. No new coach named. Let's see now, how about...BUTCH HARMON!!— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 25, 2014
Tiger's major scorecard w swing coaches: Butch Harmon 8 major wins in 5 yrs; Hank Haney 6 majors in 6 years; Foley 0 majors in 4 years— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 25, 2014
Justin Ray of the Golf Channel passed along Woods' success rate under his previous swing coaches:
Tiger Woods top-5 percentage on @PGATOUR by swing coach Harmon 54.3% Haney 61.3% Foley 27.3%— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) August 25, 2014
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.
Will Woods win another major without Foley?
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.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.