Tiger Woods explains Foley split

2014 12 Tw1

• Former world No.1 reveals reasons for coaching move
• 'Physically, I wasn't able to do some of the things we wanted'

• Says he has been looking at old footage of his swing
• Insists he is injury-free and healthy ahead of return this week


Tiger Woods has explained for the first time why he called time on his four-year working relationship with former coach Sean Foley.

The 14-time major winner split with Canadian instructor Foley in August, shortly after missing the cut in the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

This week, Woods makes his first appearance since that final major of the season and will do so having hired a new ‘consultant’ to work with him on his game, Dallas coach Chris Como.

With Foley (pictured below with Woods) Tiger insisted that it was an amicable split and that things just weren’t working out.

“I think that physically, I just wasn't able to do some of the things that we wanted to do in the golf swing,” explained Woods. “We are still very good friends and we still needle each other quite a bit on texting. So that part has been fantastic but on a professional level, I think I needed to go a different direction.

“I just sat back and basically during my rehab process and didn't really have to do anything. I wasn't going to play for a while, and just wanted to kind of soak everything in and really have a clear plan of where I wanted to go.”

That, added Woods, involved going back over old footage of him – very old footage.

“We looked at a lot of video from when I was a junior, in junior and amateur golf, way before I came out and had some really nice years where I hit the ball really well,” he explained. “We went back to some of those old videos and really looked at it.

“It was quite interesting to see where my swing was then and how much force I could generate with a very skinny frame. How did I do that? How do I generate that much power? That's kind of what we are getting back into it.”

Playing in this week’s Hero World Challenge – a tournament that benefits his own foundation and one that he has won five times in the past – Woods will be hopeful of finishing a thoroughly disappointing season on a positive note.

“I'm past the rehab portion of it. Now, I'm in strength and development." - Tiger Woods

Blighted by back injuries, he is without a win anywhere in the world in 2014 and has slipped from the top of the world rankings to No.24.

However, he insists he is now fully healthy and ready to try to and mount yet another comeback.

“ feels great, it feels fantastic,” said the 38-year-old. “I've done the proper rehab. I've gotten stronger. I've gotten more explosive. I've gotten faster.

“I just now need to hit more balls but the body is good. I don't have the sharp pain like I used to at the beginning of the year. I don't have that anymore. I still have some aches and pains, just like anybody else who is my age and older.

“But I'm past the rehab portion of it. Now, I'm in the strength and development of it and I don't have to do those tedious little rehab exercises. I can basically play with my kids and do whatever I want. We've been playing a ton of soccer in the backyard just about every day.”

Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods

Woods turns 39 at the end of this month and is acutely aware that time is against him if he is to emulate Jack Nicklaus’ (pictured above with Tiger) record haul of 18 major victories.

“Father Time is undefeated,” he acknowledged. “We all eventually are losing some of the things we are able to do when we were younger. As an athlete, yeah, you do notice these things. We all have to make adaptations as athletes, and we have to make adjustments and I'm no different.

“Back when I was younger, a long ball was 290 in the air. That was a big ball. Now it's 320, 325. That's the new standard out here. Some of the longer guys - Bubba, Woody, Dustin - they carry 325. That's the number they carry over bunkers. I don't quite have that.

"I'm not quite 40 yet, not until next year, so I've still got some time." - Tiger Woods

“But there are other ways to go around a golf course and I think that's when it's really neat to be part of a sport in which you can play for such a long period of time, and you can win at a very late age because you don't have to physically dominate anybody. You don't have to physically beat anybody. You just have to beat the golf course.”

He added: “One of the reasons why you saw Sam Snead win at age 54; looked like Tom was going to win the British Open at 59; Greg was part of the lead in the British Open when he was 54, you can do these type of things in golf.

“I'm not quite 40 yet, not until next year, so I've still got some time.”

Tiger Woods: Your thoughts

What do you think 2015 holds in store for Tiger Woods? Major glory? Regular PGA Tour victories? No wins at all? Leave your predictions in our 'Comments' section below.

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