DORAL, Fla. – Just as Tiger Woods was making the turn on Friday at Doral his swing coach Sean Foley was settling into a chair in player dining when, in order, the Round 2 telecast flashed highlights of Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods.
That all three players work with Foley registered only because all three were shown for their solid play. “They’re all hitting it good,” Foley smiled.
Rose is alone in second place after a second-round 64 while Woods (67) is tied for 13th and Mahan – just weeks removed from his victory at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship – is tied for 27th.
Rose, who has won multiple titles with Foley, wasn’t surprised that his players found themselves atop the WGC-Cadillac Championship leaderboard and contends the criticism his swing coach has endured since he started working with Woods just before the 2010 PGA Championship is unfounded.
“Tiger has made his job much harder,” Rose said. “I think being with Tiger, to this point, has not made him look as good as he actually is. I have improved, Hunter Mahan has improved and I think we’re about to see Tiger play really well.”
Rose also pointed out that working with Woods has enabled Foley to evolve as an instructor and offered a telling assessment of his swing compared to that of Woods and Mahan.
“I think me and Hunter swing similar. Tiger does the opposite of what we do,” Rose said. “Tiger needs to open up quicker, we need to slow down on the back swing. That’s it in a nutshell.”