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.”