Lee Westwood has moved on from Sean Foley, splitting with Tiger Woods’ swing coach after just seven months.
"I just want to work on swing positions and stuff like that a bit more and I didn’t feel like Sean coached that," Westwood, a formerly top-ranked golfer who has dropped below the top 30 in the world under Foley’s tutelage, told Derek Lawrenson on Wednesday ahead of this week’s Northern Trust Open. "It didn’t really fit what I wanted to do. I felt like I had the game that got me to world No. 1, and I was working on stuff that I didn’t work on back then, so it made sense to go back to what I was working on before."
Still in search of his first major championship, Westwood hooked up with Foley prior to last year’s British Open. Despite a T3 finish at Muirfield, the 40-year-old Englishman struggled the rest of the season, copping a single top-10 finish. He arrived at Riviera after posting a T55 at the WGC-HSBC Champions, a T47 at Torrey Pines, and a missed cut two weeks ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Westwood, who was attracted to Foley after fellow Brit Justin Rose earned his first major at the U.S. Open in June with the help of Tiger’s guru, has made change a way of life. In addition to moving his family to Florida last year in the hopes of retooling his game to fit the majors, he fired swing coach Pete Cowen after missing the cut at the 2012 PGA Championship, and it’s been a revolving door at the caddie spot.
With Foley gone, it was unclear who would instruct Westwood going forward.
"I have things in the pipeline," he said. "Nobody has got any need to apply."
Westwood’s loss could be English compatriot and fellow ex-No. 1 Luke Donald’s gain. Donald attempted to hire Foley last year but the teacher was too busy at the time.
"He didn't think, considering what he had on his plate, that he could give me 100 percent of the commitment I needed," Donald told reporters ahead of the BMW Championship in September. "I told him I wanted to work hard and I wanted to put in a lot of time, and he was worried that, having a young family and all the responsibility that he has, that he wouldn't be able to give me that 100 percent commitment, and I totally understand that."
Looks like a space just opened up, if the 36-year-old Chicago transplant is still interested.