Haney: Como has it easier than predecessors

By Jason SobelNovember 22, 2014, 8:20 pm

Hank Haney doesn’t just know Chris Como. No, the man announced Saturday as Tiger Woods’ newest swing instructor formerly worked at one of Haney’s facilities in the Dallas area.

There is more than a fair amount of irony in that connection, as Haney is the ostracized former coach who helped Woods to six major championship victories before their split in 2010, which was followed by a book detailing the inner workings of their relationship.

Asked whether he could – or would – offer any advice to Woods’ fourth swing coach of his professional career, Haney declined.

“I wouldn’t talk to him,” he said. “There’s not really any advice you can give anybody. You’ve just got to try to do the best job you can do. He knows what to do. He’s a teacher; he’s a coach. It’s harder than it looks, but I think everyone realizes that now.”

Coaching the game’s most highly scrutinized player might be harder than it looks, but Haney believes the newest instructor in this role will have it easier than any of his predecessors. 

“This is the easiest situation that any coach has been in,” he insisted. “You couldn’t coach Tiger and have a friendlier scenario than Chris Como has. Look at the record Tiger had with Butch [Harmon]; I was following that. Look at the record Tiger had with me; Sean [Foley] was following that.

“Let’s face it: The expectations are not super high at this point.”

That notion might work to Como’s benefit, but Haney said he believes the lack of a lengthy resume will hurt the 37-year-old.

Woods names Como No. 4 swing coach

Foley's advice for Como: Enjoy the ride

“The hard thing with Tiger is that he’s not your average student. You may have great, great information, but to deal with somebody like Tiger, I think experience helps you, too. That’s something we’ve seen. I had a lot of experience and Butch had a lot of experience, and both of us were really successful. It remains to be seen whether someone with great knowledge and information but less experience can get through to someone like Tiger Woods.”

That lack of experience will mean that Como will find himself in a new position, thrust into the public spotlight much like the three Woods instructors before him.

Haney insisted that the best thing the new coach can do is to ignore the critics.

“It’s really irrelevant,” he said of the attention. “It doesn’t change how you coach, doesn’t change how anything happens, doesn’t change anything that shapes how you coach one way or another. You hear the negative comments, but everyone gets a little bit of a honeymoon. You always start off any relationship thinking, ‘I can get this job done; he just needs some better information,’ then you realize it’s a little more complicated than you thought.”

Haney said he thinks there are some very obvious flaws in Woods’ game which need to be fixed.

“When it’s all said and done, it boils down to two things: Did he find a swing that’s easier on his body? And does he find a cure for that driver? If you’re going to return to No. 1 in the world, you’re going to have to hit that driver – and that’s the big question mark.”

Even if Woods’ relationship with Como succeeds, Haney doesn’t believe they can duplicate his previous achievements.

“Tiger is at a point in his career where I don’t care what kind of information he gets, for him to have a year like 2000 or a stretch when I worked with him, it’s probably not realistic to think that’s going to happen.”

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm