SINGAPORE: Former world number one Ernie Els said on Wednesday Tiger Woods should forget about hiring a new coach after splitting with Sean Foley and could return to major-winning form on his own.
South African Els said Woods had never been the same since he stopped working with Butch Harmon in 2003, and that he didn’t like the direction he had taken under Hank Haney and then Foley.
But he said injury-hit Woods, far from looking at the embers of his career at 38, was still capable of returning to the very top of world golf at the expense of Rory McIlroy.
“I don’t think it’s the passing of the torch yet,” said Els, during a phone conference ahead of October’s Venetian Macau Open, which he is headlining.
“Because I know where I am at 44, and Tiger’s not 40 yet so there’s still a lot of life left in him.”
Woods, the 14-time major-winner, ended his four-year association with Foley this week after cutting short a troubled season dominated by his recovery from back surgery.
Many wonder whether golf is seeing a power-shift from Woods, without a major win since 2008, to world number one McIlroy, who won this year’s British Open and PGA Championship.
Els said he thought Woods was on a ‘different level to everybody’ during his days with Harmon, with whom he won eight major championships.
“I think he doesn’t need a coach. He needs maybe a friend of his to lay eyes on him all the time just to check his fundamentals,” said Els.
“And I think he just needs to look at tapes and see what his body can do, and see if his body can do the same as what he did back in the day.”