Woods' failure puts his coach in line of fire

There hasn't been an inquest as urgent as this in these parts since the locals discovered that Mr and Mrs Sawney Bean and their 46 offspring had been living undetected in caves for 25 years feasting themselves on more than 1,000 (human) victims. Why did Tiger Woods miss the cut? Seemingly everybody had a theory here yesterday.

It is fair to say that one or two of these were ever so slightly wide of the mark. Take this from Chris Evans, the well-known radio celebrity and the lesser-known swing expert. Asked for his opinion live on BBC TV by that Andrew Marr of the fairways, Gary Lineker, Evans said: "Well, in the pub last night we were saying it's because Tiger can't shape the ball."

Evans has recently married a lady who was once known by a golf magazine as "The Golf Nurse". We can only hope she persuades her husband to keep taking the pills.

Woods can not only shape the ball but can shape it better than any of his contemporaries. Fortunately, the BBC also had Mark James in the studio. "The reason he might not have been able to shape the ball here was because he was swinging badly," said the former Ryder Cup captain, looking appropriately embarrassed by his co-panellist's deductions. "His head was going up and down like a yo-yo. If I was Tiger Woods I would be distraught and would be having serious words with my coach."

James had cut directly to the heart of the matter; or at least what the golfing world will generally consider to be the heart of this matter. Woods has been ascribed with possessing such genius that it has become almost impossible to attach any blame or even any fallibility at his locker-room door.

So where's the coach? He must be responsible for mishandling this talent. Actually, Hank Haney has been nowhere near Turnberry. For the first time since they linked up in 2004, Haney did not accompany Woods to a major; a fact which may dissolve him of fault with some, but which will inevitably be used as evidence of a rift by most.

The Texan has not been in town because Woods said he did not want him here; not because of any relationship meltdown but simply because Woods considered the work already to have been done. The pair spent three days with each other in the week leading up to The Open and both were apparently very satisfied with the way Woods was swinging it when he jumped on his private jet. What happened in the meantime? Haney probably does not yet know for sure, although like James he would have wondered why his client's head was in "yo-yo" mode.

No doubt the answers will be sought in the next two weeks before Woods reappears at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, an event he has won the last three times he has played in it. If Haney keeps his job, that is.

Listen to some experts and one might have expected Woods to sack the instructor as soon as he returned to Florida yesterday. In truth, this was unlikely. Woods has dismissed talk of a split as "speculation" and is known to have privately reassured Haney. Yet if and when they do end up parting company, their association can be described as nothing but a success.

Woods has won six majors since he has been with Haney and in recent years his form has been a phenomenon of consistency. This was the first time since Carnoustie in 2007 when Woods finished outside the top 10 in a stroke-play event.

Furthermore, even with this the fifth missed cut of his career, he remains ahead of where Jack Nicklaus was at the same stage. In his 13th year as a professional, Nicklaus had won 12 majors and had missed three cuts in majors. Woods stands at 14 and two. In that 13th season, Nicklaus failed to win any of the four majors.

These spells that may laughingly be called "barren" happen in golf. It is the nature of the sport. What should be unarguable is that Woods was due one quite bad day to be followed by one really, really bad day. It should be. Alas, it isn't.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate