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Butch Harmon: Tiger Woods doesn’t need a swing coach

tiger-woodsTiger Woods parted ways with his most recent swing coach on Monday when he announced that he and Sean Foley will no longer be working together. Foley was Tiger’s third swing coach since 2002, when Woods last worked with the legendary Butch Harmon. While Woods enjoyed a great deal of success with Harmon from 1993 to 2002, the two will not be reuniting.

Harmon, who works with Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, said Monday that he would not work with Tiger again and doesn’t think the 14-time major champion should even hire a new coach.

“No I would not and he’s not going to call and ask,” Harmon told Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel. “I don’t think he needs a swing coach. If I were advising Tiger I’d tell him, ‘You’re the greatest player that ever lived, just go to the range and hit shots.’”

That is basically the same piece of advice PGA golfer Parker McLachlin, a former Foley student, had for Woods when Tiger struggled at the start of the PGA Championship earlier this month. Tiger won the PGA Player of the Year Award with five wins last season while working with Foley, but obviously something went wrong. Harmon doesn’t blame Foley for that.

“Sean’s had great success. He has nothing to hang his head about,” Harmon said. “I called him and told him that. I told him he worked his tail for this guy. Nothing lasts forever.”

Tiger has not won a major championship since 2008. It once appeared that he was destined to shatter Jack Nicklaus’ record for most major victories, but even winning four more to tie it seems unlikely for Woods at this point. He has worked with every high-profile swing coach in the business. Maybe it’s time for Tiger to stop thinking so much and rely on his natural talent.

Hunter Mahan broke The Barclays trophy

Hunter-Mahan-Barclays-trophy

Hunter Mahan capped off an exciting final round at The Barclays on Sunday when he rattled off three straight birdies on the back nine en route to a victory. His day ended with a broken trophy.

Mahan may have broken the crystal trophy at some point while celebrating with his wife Kandi and adorable daughter Zoe. When he posed with 21-year-old David Finn — a fan who struggles with muscular dystrophy — after the tournament, Mahan placed the trophy down emphatically and noticed that it was in two separate pieces.

“David did it!” Mahan joked, according to John Munson of The-Star Ledger.

You can see more photos of the broken chalice here.

Mahan later joked that he had “no idea” what people were talking about when he was asked about the mishap in the media tent. While Mahan may be atop the FedEx Cup standings for the time being, he clearly isn’t as smooth as Rory McIlroy. Our boy Rory would have saved the trophy.

H/T Eye on Golf

Tiger Woods fires swing coach Sean Foley

Tiger-Woods-Sean-FoleyTiger Woods announced on Monday that he has decided to end his relationship with swing coach Sean Foley.

“I’d like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship,” Woods said, via his official 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. With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship.”

Tiger started working with Foley in 2010. Foley was Woods’ third swing coach after he worked with Butch Harmon and Hank Haney. Tiger, who has battled back injuries this season, had five wins last year and was named the PGA Player of the Year. However, he has not been able to drive the ball consistently for years and many have urged him to part ways with Foley.

[Related: Hank Haney says Tiger works out too much, doesn't practice enough]

PGA golfer Parker McLachlin, a former Foley student, told Tiger to fire Foley at the start of the PGA Championship earlier this month.

Woods announced during the PGA Championship that he has withdrawn from Ryder Cup consideration and is not planning to play again until December.

H/T Golf Digest

Bubba Watson apologizes for acting ‘childish’ at PGA Championship

Bubba-Watson-Denny-Hamlin-CaddyBubba Watson has apologized for the way he acted at the PGA Championship earlier this month, both during play and when protesting the long drive competition.

For those of you who missed it, Watson was furious that the PGA chose to hold a long drive competition at a time when he felt players should be practicing and learning the course at Valhalla. In order to express his frustration with the event, Watson used a 3-iron during the competition instead of a driver. Bubba has the longest drive on the tour this season at 424 yards.

“I’m there to play golf, not to hit it far,” Watson said at the time. “I’ve got to practice. I’ve never been to the course. I don’t need to worry about a long drive on the 10th hole.”

On Tuesday, Watson acknowledged that he should have just participated in the contest and kept quiet.

“If you look at the bigger picture, not competing in the Long Drive Contest was the first mistake,” he said, according to Steve DiMeglio of USA Today Sports. “When you look at just me as an individual, that was the selfish part, because I didn’t agree with it but there’s a lot of things that I don’t agree with that I do.”

Then there was the way Watson interacted with his caddie, Ted Scott. During his second round at the PGA Championship, Bubba swore at his caddie after hitting a poor shot and complained when he was handed a club with a wet face. He also made Scott tee a ball up for him at one point so he wouldn’t get wet.

“Because I want something so bad, that’s not the reason to do that,” Watson admitted. “You still just bite your tongue and compete at a high level, don’t show emotion, and I take it overboard because I want something so bad. I want to be considered a great player. I want to win golf tournaments and I’ve got to learn on that.

” … And then my language was not good. That’s a different topic, and childish again. It’s all childish stuff and I’m trying to mature and become a better man. I take it on the chin. It was my fault. Everything’s my fault and I should be bigger and stronger and better than that.”

Bubba has done some great things off the course that make him a fan favorite, but he has a tendency to let his emotions get the best of him. I’m sure Scott is used to it, as this is not the first time Watson has blown up on him in the middle of a round. Bubba can apologize as much as he wants, but it’s not going to matter until he stops doing stuff like that.

Guy had massive welt after being hit in head with golf ball

Golf-ball-welt-forehead

Every golfer’s worst nightmare came true for a Swedish man named Joakim Boden recently. No, we’re not talking about missing a two-foot putt when you’re playing your buddy for $20 bucks a hole. Boden was drilled directly in the head with a golf ball.

Despite the monstrous welt the ball left on his forehead, Boden somehow lived to tell the tale. He told golf.se that he was playing a casual round with some friends when something that “sounded like a gunshot” turned out to be a ball striking him in the dome. Look away if you’re squeamish:

Fortunately, Boden was examined at a nearby healthy clinic and did not have any serious injuries. While it is incredibly rare to be hit with a ball, let alone in the head, Boden’s experience is a reminder that you should always cover your head if you hear someone yell “fore!”

H/T Golf Digest via Deadspin

Golfer Nathan Spoon-Kanner sinks three holes-in-one in 45 days

Hole-in-oneUnless your name is Rory McIlroy, Nathan Spoon-Kanner has probably had a better past month-and-a-half of golf than you have. Spoon-Kanner, a 22-year-old student from California, drained a hole-in-one at Casserly Golf Course in Watsonville, Cali. on Monday. You could say the perfect shot was business as usual.

Spoon-Kanner’s hole-in-one was his third — that’s right, third — in the past 45 days. His first was an 88-yard shot (that’s a pretty short par-3) with a pitching wedge on June 29. His second was a 180-yard hybrid shot on Aug. 4 and the one he sunk Monday was a 112-yard shot with a nine iron.

Despite the incredible recent success, Spoon-Kanner told The Santa Cruz Sentinel that he isn’t a particularly good golfer.

“I’m nothing more than an average golfer,” he said. “I’m just teeing in on the greens. It’s a pretty amazing feeling.”

Spoon-Kanner’s handicap is nine and he has been playing since he was 2, so he’s a little better than average. All of his aces had witnesses, including his buddy Quinn Sanberg who was there for all three.

“I was there all three times,” Sanberg said. “It was like an out-of-body experience just watching them. He’s starting to make it look easy now.”

Gold Digest once estimated that the odds of an amateur golfer hitting a hole-in-one are 12,500:1. If you want to do the math on what the odds are of draining three aces in a lifetime let alone three in less than two months, be my guest. Most avid golfers will never make a hole-in-one in their entire lives.

So what’s the secret? Spoon-Kanner, who had surgery on both his knees after playing baseball for years, said the golf course is a place where he can just relax.

“When I’m out there, it’s all mind and spirit,” he explained. “It’s more than ball and club and putting the ball in the hole. I am thankful to be somewhat healthy and pain-free. I went through a lot with surgery. It was a long-haul recovery. I think I am being rewarded. I still have pain. I’m still recovering.”

One hole-in-one would constitute being rewarded. Three is simply incredible.

H/T Eye on Golf

Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler shared great tweets after PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy Rickie Fowler

Rory McIlroy played another round of excellent golf on Sunday to hold off Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler for his second PGA Championship and fourth overall major.

Mickelson shot a 5-under 66 to finish second at 15 under for the tournament, while Fowler finished tied for third at 14 under, two shots behind McIlroy.

Sunday marked another close call for Fowler, who finished in the top five of all four majors this year. He finished right behind Rory in the last two majors of the season, leading to this great Twitter exchange from the two:

Even though Fowler did not win a major this year, he joins exclusive company by finishing in the top five of all four in the same season — only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have also accomplished the feat. At least he recognizes what an accomplishment that is:

Like Rory said, with the way Fowler played this year, a major has to be coming soon for him.