|Tiger Woods works on his putting with swing coach Sean Foley following the first round of the Honda Classic at PGA National on March 1, 2012 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. - Sean Foley, being the Canadian that he is, politely declined an interview request on Saturday.
Obviously it’s not in a Canuck’s makeup to gloat, but that’s what the Ontario swing coach should be doing this week at the U.S. Open.
His four most notable clients, including the one and only Tiger Woods, made the cut at the unforgiving Olympic Club. That’s probably why there was a huge smile on the Burlington, Ont., native’s face as he watched Hunter Mahan smack balls before his Saturday round.
Foley told QMI Agency he wasn’t doing any interviews this week. He’s not upset with any particular media outlet; he said they simply “wore me down.”
That’s not a surprise. Foley is in his third year working with Woods, and the critics in today’s world of 140 characters and 30-second attention spans were wondering why Woods wasn’t winning.
It was time to get rid of Foley, they screamed and yelled. Even Woods’ most famous former coach, Butch Harmon, told the Wall Street Journal that Tiger should turf Foley.
They’re quiet this week, and they will have to zip it completely if Woods captures his 15th major on the gruelling Lake Course that requires plenty of ball movement and shot shaping.
Not only was Woods, who already has two wins this year, part of the group that had the 36-hole lead, but Mahan, another two-time winner this season, was in the top 10 and Justin Rose was in the top 25 during Saturday’s third round.
Foley’s first big client, Canadian Stephen Ames, also made the cut but struggled to a 79 on Saturday.
Of course, saying Foley deserves a lot of the credit for Woods’ play of late is like claiming the bikini company is the reason why Kate Upton looks good in a bathing suit.
However, if the critics are going to howl when Woods is chopping it up, Foley has every reason to feel good about his work when his star client is grooving it.