Tiger Woods, Swing Coach Hank Haney Part Ways

In a Feb. 20, 2007 file photo Tiger Woods uses his putter to indicate a point of interest to coach Hank Haney during a practice session for the World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Ariz.
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
Tiger Woods is once again putting golf on hold. The world's top-ranked golfer says an inflamed neck joint is making it hard for him to turn his head.

Just a day after Woods made the announcement, Hank Haney, his swing coach of six years, also made an announcement: He decided to leave Tiger.

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CBS News national correspondent Jeff Glor noted Haney was one of the few people Woods reached out to during his five months in seclusion and subsequent comeback.

Together, the two had won 31 PGA events and six Majors.

Haney said on "The Early Show" Monday, it was time to move on.

"There's just a time and a place for everything, I think. And six years is a long time. When you look at the lifespan of coaches, if you will, they all run their course. I really think that I probably taught Tiger everything I was going to teach him at this point in his life and his career - wasn't much I was going to tell him with his swing that was going to make a big difference. And it was just time to move on. I had a great experience."

Haney said he's moving on to other projects, including his show on the Golf Channel called "Haney Project," and his junior academy in Hilton Head, S.C.

But what was it like to be part of Woods' inner circle?

Haney told "Early Show" anchor Harry Smith that Woods is an "incredibly private person."

"I really focused on his golf. But obviously I know him as a friend, too. And he's not a bad guy at all. He's a friend that I think you can count on."

He added, "But there's no doubt about it, the great ones are different."

As for Tiger's affairs, Haney said he had no idea what was going on.

"Obviously there wasn't probably too many people that didn't know, but I was one of them," he said. "I was totally in the dark."

Smith remarked that it's amazing how Woods could compartmentalize his professional golf life and his personal life.

"It's interesting to everybody," Haney replied. "But he's awful strong mentally. This is a new challenge for him, another challenge, and it's obviously not easy. I think he's having a little trouble mentally now, there's no doubt about it, but he's a different person. He's an incredible competitor, he's incredibly mentally strong. And it is pretty amazing when you look back at it."

Haney said Woods can recover professionally.

"Tiger is an incredible talent and he has an unbelievable work ethic. But he has a neck injury and a lot of mental things that he's dealing with - everything that's going on in his life. So I think once his mind is free and he's injury-free, yeah, I can see him playing great again."

However, Haney said he's proud that Woods has accepted responsibility for his actions.

"He's trying to get better. He's working on it every day. And I think that's all a man can do. He's trying and trying to improve and trying to lead a better life. You got to the give him credit for that."

Glor reported the loss of Haney is just the latest obstacle for Woods since his return to golf last month after a five-month absence.

Many have long doubted Woods would regain the squeaky-clean image that earned him an estimated $110 million last year off the course. Now there are growing concerns his dominance on the course is over as well.

More than six months after a car crash upended Woods' career and marriage, the ripple effects still haunt the world's most famous golfer.

In February, Woods admitted, "I was unfaithful, I had affairs. I cheated."

Questions surround the state of his marriage to wife Elin Nordegren who has been spotted without her wedding ring, and the potential custody battle brewing over their two young children.

David Dusek, deputy editor of Golf.com told CBS News, "We don't have really any feeling for where he and Elin are in their relationship - if they're going to stick it out, if there is going to be a divorce."

Those problems, coupled with a 45-day stay in a rehabilitation clinic, reportedly for sex addiction, seem to have thrown the golfer off his game.

Woods has struggled mightily since finishing fourth at the Masters in April. He also failed to qualify for the finals at a tournament in North Carolina. And eight days ago, he withdrew from The Players Championship due to a neck injury.

He told reporters, "I'm at a point where I just can't go anymore."

Dusek said, "In order to be able to compete at the highest level, to play really good golf, he needs to get his home situation squared away to whatever it's going to be. Then, get his health situation in order, make sure his body is capable of doing the things he's going to demand of it."

On "The Early Show," Glor added Woods is in Florida resting and receiving medical treatment for his neck. The earliest fans may see him play again is June 3 at The Memorial Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, where he hopes to defend his title.