Foley, Tiger have a game plan for the Masters

IAN HUTCHINSON

, Last Updated: 8:39 PM ET

Whether its a very public feud with his predecessor Hank Haney spilling over to Twitter, or Arnold Palmer questioning the logic of Tiger Woods changing his swing, the week ahead promises to be tumultuous for Canadian Sean Foley on the manicured carpet at Augusta National.

The attention and controversy that has dogged the coach of the four-time Masters champ may well intensify in the fishbowl that will also contain Woods this week and Foley is likely to take more shrapnel as the world seeks to understand whats happening with the former No. 1 player in the world.

I cant hide from the fact that when I started with Tiger, he was No. 1 in the world and now hes No. 5 (as of last week). It is what it is. I dont really care I dont look at development that way. Its not based on a weekly referendum of Oh, this was better. This was worse, said Foley.

We have a game plan in mind and Tiger will arrive where he needs to when he gets there, he said, adding that, as coach, he will play a limited role.

The coach sets up the play in the NHL, but (Alexander) Ovechkin has to steal the puck and go down and deke the goalie and score. Coaching in other sports is much more interconnected to the play because theyre calling the play, said Foley.

Im paid 4.5%. Im paid a small percentage, so if Im at 4.5% of what my players earn, then Im 4.5% responsible for them winning. Im 4.5% responsible for them finishing 25th and Im 4.5% for them missing the cut or finishing dead last, he added.

The caddies are paid more to carry their clubs, said Foley.

That means hes there to work on their games and support them in any way he can, but in the end, the player will be the one who suddenly clicks in to what theyve been working on. It may come this week, or not.

Tiger knows what to do. Its kind of really the funny thing about all the criticism that hes got and that hes not got his swing change. Its really not that big of a swing change. People dont get it, he said.

That curiosity combined with a mega-media world puts everything on the table for dissection, according to Foley.

The way golfs getting with the coverage, its like every day is a daily referendum, he said. I read an article the other day. It talked about this guy, his friend is an expert in the Chinese calendar and Tiger will suffer for eight more years under this zodiac. Its like what is that? Give me a break.

Youve got commentators who made less than 42% of their cuts as professionals analyzing everything hes done. When did they think golf got really easy? he added.

That will intensify this week as Woods returns to not only the site of past glories, but one in which he made his highly-anticipated return a year ago after scandal rocked his world. Foley says Woods is a survivor, having faced racism and the death of his father and mentor Earl, but this is something hes never faced.

This is kind of uncharted waters for him and its going to take him some time to navigate his way out of it, he said.

Ive never got a divorce, but I know plenty of my friends who have been lawyers or doctors or businessmen who have got a divorce and for some time after that divorce, their work struggled. Were human beings, said Foley.

The difference is the whole world has been watching Woods and Foley and will continue to do so this week at Augusta.


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