Golf: David Leadbetter: His pupils and rivals

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The Independent Online
THE CLIENTS

Once a struggling tour player himself, Leadbetter first started to help the South African Denis Watson and then took on Nick Price after the Zimbabwean lost the 1982 Open to Tom Watson at Troon. In contrast to Faldo, who would spend hours with Leadbetter, Price said 10 minutes with the teacher gave him enough to work on for three months. Greg Norman, Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros have all worked with Leadbetter - the Spaniard doing so in 1991, his best season to date since he last won a major in 1988.

It was to Lake Nona, the Leadbetter headquarters, that Korean Se Ri Pak, the US Women's Open champion, went when she first arrived in America, while Justin Rose spent a week there earlier this year. Hackers can get the same treatment for pounds 3,000 for a weekend's tuition.

THE RIVALS

Butch Harmon, one of four golfing sons of the former Masters champion Claude Harmon, is the next most visible coach after Leadbetter. Harmon revived Greg Norman's career in the early 1990s, helping the Australian win the Open at Sandwich in 1993, but Norman left around the time Tiger Woods, who sought Harmon's advice as an amateur, turned pro. While Tiger is on the course, Harmon can often be found on Sky's American golf coverage.

Bill Ferguson was the club pro who taught Colin Montgomerie the game and only came out on tour to fine-tune the Scot's action. Before long, others such as Ian Woosnam and Paul Broadhurst found the Yorkshireman's help valuable.

Montgomerie split from Ferguson, without giving reasons at the time but hoping to improve his world ranking at the end of 1996, and spent the following season with Denis Pugh, a former Leadbetter aide who seems to specialise in coaching a number of Australians, New Zealanders, Germans and Danes. But last month, suffering the worst slump of his career, Montgomerie returned to Ferguson.

Lindrick's Peter Cowen is now the guru of choice for Andrew Chandler's management stable, which includes Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Stuart Cage. Less seen these days, Bob Torrance was the man behind son the rise of his son Sam.

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