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Woods may be close to new swing coach

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KOHLER, Wis. – Momentum is swinging in the direction of a Tiger Woods move to instructor Sean Foley, as a source close to the situation revealed that discussions are taking place, though nothing is firm at this point.

It certainly makes sense. Woods and Foley are minutes apart in Orlando, Fla., and Foley is on a real roll. Two of his star pupils, Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose, have combined to win four tournaments this year.

Look for Tiger to play practice rounds this week with Mahan and perhaps another Foley student, Sean O’Hair. Tiger has done that in the past. If he wants a fresh set of eyes, Foley will be there this week.

Tiger’s former coach, Butch Harmon, is convinced Tiger’s struggles go well beyond swing mechanics. “Gosh knows he can figure out the mechanics of the golf swing,” Harmon said Monday at Whistling Straits. “I don’t care if he’s been taught by me or Hank Haney or whomever. This guy’s the greatest who’s ever played golf. He understands the golf swing. I don’t think he’s as sharp mentally and there’s a reason for that.

“I think that’s what’s wrong with his putting too. His nerves aren’t as good as they used to be.” But Butch believes “he’ll get that back.”

Pete Cowen, as hot as any coach in the world right now with Graeme McDowell and Louis Ooshuizen winning back-to-back majors, agrees with Harmon.

“When Tiger gets everything off course sorted out he’ll come back with a vengeance. Anybody that good loves a challenge,” Cowen said.

Said Harmon: “One of Tiger Woods’ greatest strengths had nothing to do with his golf swing. It was his mind. It was his heart and soul, how strong he was mentally. And I think that everything he’s gone through has taken a toll on him. It would take a toll on anybody.”