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Well he would say that: Woods' swing coach thinks criticism is 'getting out of hand'

Sean Foley believes the criticism has more to do with Woods the person than Woods the golfer.

Tiger seems happy with his swing, now why can't his critics?
Tiger seems happy with his swing, now why can't his critics?
Image: Chris O'Meara/AP/Press Association Images

TIGER WOODS’ SWING coach Sean Foley says criticism of his client is getting out of hand.

“I know everyone has a job to do, and I get it,” Foley said this week on “Fairways of Life,” a radio show on XM Sirius.

“But if it is about the game of golf, Tiger Woods is an extremely important part of the game, and I think everyone understands that. It has just gotten to the point where the tearing down of Tiger as a person and a golfer has become just too much. I think it is just out of hand.”

Woods has been under more scrutiny than any other golfer since he turned pro in 1996 when he was 20 and won twice in seven starts on the PGA Tour. The criticism has sharpened in the two years since Woods was exposed for extramarital affairs that cost him his marriage and impeccable image.

He tied for 40th at the Masters, yet most of the attention was on how Woods kicked his golf club after missing a tee shot on the 16th hole of the second round.

He said the next day, “I’m frustrated at times and I apologise if I offended anybody that that.”

Foley began working with Woods at the 2010 PGA Championship, and Woods has shown signs of getting back toward the top of his game. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill last month for his first PGA Tour win since the scandal in his personal life unfolded the night of Thanksgiving 2009.

Foley has gone through his share of criticism, too, especially in the early stages of Woods learning a new swing.

“I realise it is 2012 and we have dotcoms, and you have to write five articles a day, and you run out of things to write about,” Foley said. “But we should be in a position where we are trying to help and lift up and support a player like Tiger Woods instead of tearing him down, because everyone in the golf industry is better off because of his existence.”

Foley’s comments came at the end of a 20-minute interview, and he raised the issue without prompting.

“That is basically one thing I want to get out,” Foley said. “Tiger is a wonderful person, and he is a good dude, and he lives a complex life. I think things have got to slow down, and it has got to stop, the daily referendums and the criticism.”

Woods’ performance in the Masters has kept him in conversations, however. It was his worst finish in a major as a pro — except for the three times he has missed the cut — and kicking his 9-iron became a lasting image of his week at Augusta National.

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