Guess who probably just moved up to the top of Tiger’s blacklist? Oh, that would be his former swing coach, Hank Haney. In an interview with the Golf Channel’s Jim Gray that aired Sunday night, Haney candidly answered questions like he never had in the past six years.
When Gray asked Haney what Tiger was in therapy for, he replied, “The only thing I knew about was his, you know, issue with sex addiction.”
Outed. As if we didn’t already know, but for some reason, Tiger wouldn’t reply when asked repeatedly by the press.
But Haney said he believes allegations of Tiger using performance-enhancing drugs are “100% false.” He added, “People who say otherwise are just starting rumors based on no fact at all. There’s a lot of jealousy out there.”
Other highlights included:
*On Tiger responding to media inquiries about his injuries: “He’d be a little better off if he were more forthcoming.”
*On Tiger’s missed drives: “Tiger is held to a different standard. He didn’t drive the ball good at Quail or TPC. Even at Augusta, he hit more fairways than Phil [Mickelson], Anthony Kim and Lee Westwood. Last year he finished 9th in total driving. His inaccuracy off the tee is greatly exaggerated. He needs to hit better swings with the driver. He has a little trouble sometimes…He has a fear of hitting shots to the left. As a result, he misses a lot of shots to the right.”
*On Tiger’s off-course troubles impacting his play: “How could it not? He’s a human being. He has a lot to deal with on his plate, a lot more than people know about it. It’s hurt his preparation.”
*On whether he believes he’d still be coaching Tiger if there were no scandal: “He’d probably be playing better. Yeah, there’s probably a good chance I would be.”
*On what it’s like to be inside Tiger’s inner circle: “It was a small circle. It’s interesting to see what he has to deal with on a day to day basis. It’s not easy being Tiger Woods. It’s not easy being in his inner circle either, you get drawn in. It’s fun to some extent to be privy to some of the information. You gotta watch what you do and say.”
*On how he feels he was treated by Tiger: “Obviously, I took a lot of criticism. He could have stepped up and said a little more. Sometimes his answers were a little evasive in terms of what people were asking. The more he doesn’t answer, the more it leads to speculation.”
*On whether it bothered him Tiger didn’t stand up for him: “I think it’d bother anyone, any coach.”
*On whether he views Tiger differently than he did six months ago: “The world views Tiger differently today than six months ago, but he’s still my friend. He’s been very good to me. He’s obviously had some issues, done some things he regrets. I’m proud of him for taking ownership of those.”
Now I wonder if Tiger still considers Hank a “friend” after he’s gone to multiple media outlets and spoken out about topics Tiger would prefer to keep quiet. Perhaps Tiger should have his inner circle sign confidentiality agreements.