Friday, May 7, 2010

Miller provides opinion on Tiger's swing and coach

Never short on words, NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller spoke out Wednesday and said Tiger Woods should change his swing and quit working with coach Hank Haney.

"It might be a little harsh, but I really believe he needs to, every night, watch the U.S. Open in the year 2000 at Pebble and just copy that swing and forget the Haney stuff," Miller said. "I mean, that was the best golf anybody has ever played in history."

"That's something he can copy, the tempo, the position at the top of the backswing, the follow-through position. "

"He needs a new, fresh, either teacher or just go back to what is natural to his game. What he is working on now, I believe is, no disrespect for Hank Haney, but it is not working. And sometimes when it is not working, sometimes you have to get off the fork in the road and get back to what brung you there and what won all these championships for him."

Miller does make a good point that Tiger did play the best golf in history when he won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15 strokes in 2000, when he was coached by Butch Harmon.

However, it's a little early to blame everything on Hank Haney and his teaching methods. Tiger has won six major championships while under the eye of Haney.

After missing the cut last year at the British Open, Woods went 1st, 1st, 2nd, T2nd, T11th, 1st, and 2nd in consecutive tournaments. He then went 5-0 during the Presidents Cup, finished 6th at HSBC in China, and won the Australian Masters.

He then went through the scandal, returned after 144 days, and finished fourth in the Masters.

Woods then misses one cut and Miller rants about him needing to get rid of Haney.

After hearing the comments made by Miller, Haney responded to the golf channel.

“The facts are what they are. I didn’t start in 2001. I started in 2004. In the last 2½ years, Tiger has won 44% of his tournaments and finished Top 3 in 61%. In the 2½ years before I started working with him, he won 24% and finished Top 3 in 43%.”

Woods got off to a decent start Thursday at The Players Championship, shooting an opening round 70, four shots off the lead.

It would be nice to see him win this week, and then dedicate the win to Johnny Miller in his post-round interview.

Woods photo - AP / Wilfredo Lee