Rocco Mediate said the golf world needs Tiger Woods to play better, but Woods needs to get some better help in fixing his swing.
Mediate told Golf Channel Wednesday, in response to a newspaper article in which he was critical of Woods' recent swing coaches, “It’s sad what’s happened, the way he’s playing. It’s the golf swing.”
“The golf club is heavy, it’s around him,' Mediate continued. 'I’ve seen a lot of things, I’ve learned from a lot of people. If the golf club gets around you like that, it’s putting a lot of stress on his body. Obviously, his body is breaking. It’s easy to fix, it’s just can he do it? Can he find the right person to do it, because apparently he hasn’t been able to do that.”
Mediate was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle as saying, “Starting with [Hank] Haney until now, it was a complete and absolute destruction. If it was me (as Woods' instructor), I would say to Tiger, 'Look, dude, I'm not helping you. You're getting worse. You've broken down three times and you've had 57 knee surgeries. It's not happening.''
Mediate also had some choice words for Woods’ current swing coach, Sean Foley.
'The physical motion is wrong,' Mediate said. 'To get that stress off his body is a piece of cake – the guys working with him just don't know. Sean knows some stuff, but what's going on with Tiger is not correct. That's why he keeps breaking and that's why the ball keeps going sideways.'
Foley was reached by GolfChannel.com, but had no comment regarding the criticism. Haney, however, defended his time with Woods.
“Rocco is entitled to his opinion and I respect that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but no one is entitled to their own facts,” Haney told GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard.
“Tiger's record while I helped him speaks for itself. The last three years I was with Tiger he won 45 percent of his starts; he finished in the top-10 in 85 percent of his tournaments. In 2009, Tiger won seven times and was in the top 10 in 17 out of 19 tournaments. My last tournament with Tiger was the 2010 Masters, which was his first tournament back after the scandal and he finished fourth which, by the way, is [tied for] his best finish in the last two seasons on Tour. The assertion by Rocco that my teaching somehow contributed to Tiger's decline is frankly absurd and clearly not supported by the facts.'
Mediate and Woods sparred in an epic 2008 U.S. Open, which was won by the latter over 91 holes. Woods captured his 14th major at Torrey Pines, doing so with a double stress fracture in his left tibia and a torn ACL in his left knee.
Woods missed two months this year due to another knee injury sustained at the Masters. He announced Monday that his next start would be the Frys.com Open, which Mediate won in 2010, in six weeks outside San Francisco. He has competed in eight Tour events this season.
“I think all of his body problems are coming from the way he is swinging the club,' Mediate said. 'Period.”