Woods’ agent criticizes book by former swing coach

Tiger Woods’ agent lashed out Tuesday against Hank Haney’s book,
saying his ”armchair psychology” about Woods was ”ridiculous”
and that it was clear the former swing coach only cares about
self-promotion.

Haney’s book about his six years as Woods’ coach is titled,
”The Big Miss.” It is to go on sale March 27, a week before the
Masters.

Golf Digest began releasing small excerpts Tuesday on its tablet
applications and on its website. Haney’s book was written with help
from Jaime Diaz, a senior writer at the magazine who has covered
Woods more extensively than anyone over the years.

In one of the excerpts, Haney said his job became more difficult
in 2007, when Woods had 12 majors and was getting closer to the
record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus.

”There was more urgency and less fun. … He never mentioned
Nicklaus’ record, but it started to weigh more heavily at every
major,” the excerpt said. ”And Tiger’s actions indicated he
believed he had less time to do it than everyone thought.”

Haney said the objective of revamping his swing was to preserve
his left knee.

He also said Woods was seriously considering becoming a Navy
SEAL. Woods’ father, Earl, was a green beret in the Army who did
two tours during the Vietnam War.

”I didn’t know how he’d go about it, but when he talked about
it, it was clear he had a plan,” Haney writes in the excerpt. ”I
thought, `Wow, here is Tiger Woods, greatest athlete on the planet,
maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime,
basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.”’

Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent at Excel Sports Management, said in
a statement that excerpts show Haney’s claim of the book being
about golf is ”clearly false.”

”His armchair psychology about Tiger, on matters he admits they
didn’t even discuss, is ridiculous,” Steinberg said. ”Because of
his father, it’s no secret that Tiger has always had high respect
for the military, so for Haney to twist that admiration into
something negative is disrespectful.”

Haney also mentions the time Woods spent four days of special
operations training in 2004 at Fort Bragg, N.C.

”Tiger did two tandem parachute jumps, engaged in hand-to-hand
combat exercises, went on four-mile runs wearing combat boots, and
did drills in a wind tunnel,” Haney wrote. ”Tiger loved it, but
his physical therapist, Keith Kleven, went a little crazy worrying
about the further damage Tiger might be doing to his left
knee.”

Haney said he was in the kitchen when Woods returned from a long
run wearing Army boots. He said Woods told him he’s worn the boots
before on the same route and told Haney, ”I beat my best
time.”

Woods is playing the next two weeks in south Florida, at the
Honda Classic and Cadillac Championship at Doral, as he prepares
for the Masters. Woods has not won at Augusta National since
2005.

”The disruptive timing of this book shows that Haney’s
self-promotion is more important to him than any other person or
tournament,” Steinberg said. ”What’s been written violates the
trust between a coach and player and someone also once considered a
friend.”