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Haney: Woods 'the best' there is, but not what he was

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A member of one of golf's most-discussed (former) partnerships, Hank Haney recently opened up about several topics pertaining to his one-time pupil, Tiger Woods.

In an interview with Scott Miller of ESPN the Magazine, Haney spoke with candor about how he would evaluate Woods' current place in the game.

'I think things have changed, and he's clearly not the golfer that he was,' he explained. 'But I still think Tiger's the best player that there is. Now, he's not No. 1 right now, but I still think he's the best player. But having said that, he's not the player that he was when he was winning 45 percent of his tournaments.'

One of the most well-known instructors in the game, Haney also addressed the notion that many have found his comments about Woods to be especially critical since the two parted ways in 2010.

'People are always like, 'You're taking a shot at him.' I'm not taking a shot at him. But it's just the way it is. Everybody can see it,' he noted. 'But you know what? You don't even have to see it. It's like what Bill Parcells always said: 'You are what your record says you are.''

Woods, who won six of his 14 career major titles while working with Haney from 2004-2010, last won a major at the 2008 U.S. Open. According to the interview, the once-dominant duo last exchanged words in May 2010, the day after Haney resigned.

Despite the rift that now exists between him and his former player, Haney sympathizes with some of the daily struggles Woods continues to endure.

'Well it's not easy being Tiger Woods on the course. It's not easy being Tiger Woods off the course,' Haney added. 'In his defense, it's not easy being Tiger Woods.'