In contention, Mahan defends swing coach Foley


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Last month on the eve of his victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship Justin Rose was asked about Sean Foley and the Englishman suggested that working with Tiger Woods has made the Canadian swing coach’s job harder.

Rose’s point was that despite a stellar year for Foley’s students working with the game’s former alpha male has proven to be a minefield. Never mind that Foley’s students have won four of the last seven PGA Tour events, some pundits have blasted him for Woods’ pedestrian play this week (72-75-72).

On Friday Hunter Mahan – another one of Foley’s players and a two-time winner this year at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and last week’s Shell Houston Open – carded a 68 to move into a share of fifth place at 4 under par. Afterwards, GTC asked last year’s Presidents Cup star his thoughts on Foley’s plight.

“Luckily Sean is at the point in his life where he can handle this stuff,” he said. “A few years ago it would have bothered him, but not now.”

Mahan also took exception to theories that Woods was better off under former swing coach Hank Haney.

“Tiger’s been No. 1 in (total driving, which measures both accuracy and distance),” Mahan said. “Who would have ever thought that under Hank Haney he would be No. 1 in driving . . . nobody.”