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Faldo & Haney Weigh in on Tiger's 'Woes'
Tiger Woods has always been an easy target. He's been that way since electrifying the sports world after he turned pro in 1996.
Like other high-profile, wildly successful athletes with superior ability, a voice that occasionally gets them into the wrong spotlight and bad off-the-playing-field decisions - Alex Rodriguez, Serena Williams, Ray Lewis, et al, golf's top-rated player is the subject of endless scrutiny by fans and the media alike.
Woods, who can't play this week in the tournament he hosts, the AT&T National at Congressional, due to an injured elbow, is back in the blogosphere again, though certainly by no choice of his own.
Six-time major winner Nick Faldo, now retired and the longtime golf analyst for CBS Sports, told London's Daily Mail newspaper that, despite Woods' four wins in 2013, he's still struggling.
"I think Tiger's woken up and realized this is a hard sport and he is a mere mortal after all," Faldo said in reference to Woods' poor showings in the Masters and recent U.S. Open.
"For so many years he was so good, he was such an amazing athlete. When he went pro he went off like a rocket," Faldo told the Daily Mail's Sara about the 14-time major champion.says-golfer.html) about the 14-time major champion.
"But he's not in a good mental place. It was so easy for him before, he made it look so easy, when it is such a hard sport. But whatever he's been through, with all his personal problems, has made an impact on his mind - and so much of this sport is all in the mind. Nerve is the bottom line.
"I know he wants to come back and prove that he can do it."
Woods' former swing instructor, Hank Haney, also had something to say about Tiger. Haney's 2012 book, "The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods," was controversial because it delved into matters that Woods considered strictly between teacher and student and off the record.
In a recent chat with Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports, Haney criticized Woods for not going into golf's major championships as ready as he should be. "For whatever reason, Tiger doesn't prepare for majors as hard as he could," Haney told Lusetich.
"He plays the course in a rushed way maybe once or twice before the tournament week, then in the tournament week Tiger has gotten into a routine of playing nine-hole practice rounds on some days."
Haney added that Woods, for various reasons, is having a tough time getting over the hump and winning his 15th major; his 14th came five years ago in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. And Woods' chances of catching - and passing - Jack Nicklaus's all-time mark of 18 major victories are diminishing.
"Tiger is having a real hard time winning the easiest major he is going to win - No. 15. No. 18 to tie Jack and 19 to beat Jack, those are going to be the hard ones."