The Golf Blog: Hank Haney tweets about Tiger Woods’ bad tee shot that lost him the match

mulligan, 24 February 2011, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: Hank Haney tweets about Tiger Woods’ bad tee shot that lost him the match
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The Golf Blog says: Hank Haney caused a stir on Twitter after he tweeted following Tiger Woods’ first round elimination to Thomas Bjorn on the 1st playoff hole at the Accenture Match Play. Tiger lost the match after he hit his 3-wood right of the fairway, by 10 yards or so, into the desert. Tiger took 2 to get out of there and that was all she wrote.

The sting from the loss to Tiger was barely gone, when former coach Hank Haney chimed in on Twitter: “For all the talk of Tiger’s poor driving the last 6 years I have never seen him drive it out of play with a match or tournament on the line.” (Of course, “the last 6 years” Tiger was with Haney Haney. Now, he’s not.)

Some people agreed with or defended Haney’s comment on Twitter, but we took issue with it calling it “out of line” and “self-serving.” Why? First, it seems a little bit in poor form for a teacher to be publicly accentuating a bad shot by a former student so soon after he lost. But, even worse than that, the comment is totally self-serving to protect the image of Haney, who has been criticized by many for not fixing, or maybe even contributing to, Tiger’s longstanding problems off the tee, especially with the driver. (The driving stats don’t lie: Tiger’s driving deteriorated under Haney Haney.) Haney’s comment is not meant to help Tiger, it’s meant to help Haney.

Haney admitted as much later after seeing the firestorm he created on Twitter: “Well that stuck a cord, i was talking about a last hole tee shot, just an observation guys, hard game….I wasn’t insinuating anything other than I think Tiger has always driven it better than people think.”

Meaning: Haney wants people to know that he believes Tiger drove the ball better with Haney more than people think. And yesterday’s errant shot off the tee never happened “in the last 6 years” with Haney (although that’s pretty debatable given that Tiger’s Achilles’ heel has been losing the ball to the right off the tee during the Hank Haney years). Just imagine if former coach Butch Harmon tweeted after Tiger Woods kept losing during the early transition to Hank Haney that Butch ” never saw Tiger hit as bad a shot as that in the last 7 years [under Butch].” That comment would be totally self-serving.

If one of our former golf coaches said about us what Hank Haney said about Tiger right after we lost a match, we wouldn’t take those comments as encouragement, much less a compliment. Tiger said he was already “pissed” about the loss. Had he heard these comments from Haney right then, he probably would have been even more angry.


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