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Woods will be 'better than ever'

Hank Haney and Tiger Woods
Haney (left) and Woods have worked together for over five years

Tiger Woods's coach Hank Haney insists the world number one will return stronger than ever after an operation on his damaged knee ligaments.

After fighting intense pain to win his third US Open title Woods, 32, will miss the rest of this season to recover from reconstructive knee surgery.

And some have questioned whether Woods may have sustained irreparable damage.

But Haney told ESPN Radio: "I wouldn't rate it as any concern. He is going to come back better than he ever was."

I think there is a cloud over Tiger Woods now

Former Tour player Mark Roe
The American's US Open success, his 14th major title, came after an 18-hole play-off and a sudden-death extra hole following four rounds at Torrey Pines, in his first tournament in two months since his third bout of surgery on his left knee.

Woods told ABC's Good Morning America on Friday: "I was in bad shape going in and came out in just the same shape.

"So it will be nice to finally get fixed and feel healthy, which I haven't felt in probably a decade."

The impending operation, his fourth, has led some players and pundits to question his long-term future in the game.

Former European Tour player Mark Roe told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Anyone who has played golf at the highest level knows that the left knee takes an immense pounding.

"As hard as Woods hits it, as aggressive as he plays, I think it could flare up again in the future.

"I think there is a cloud over Tiger Woods now. He will not come back until he is ready, but it could go again very easily."

I wouldn't under-estimate anything about Tiger Woods

Hank Haney
Haney, who assists Woods with his swing, says the American has had trouble with his knee in the five years he has known him - and that taking time out to fully correct it will work in his favour.

"Now he's going to have a stable knee," said Haney, who has also coached double major winner Mark O'Meara.

"I just expect it will be such a positive thing for Tiger and his whole career, giving him more time to practice. He has been really limited in what he could do.


"It's really just the snapping of his leg as he comes through the ball," he said.

"This was something we worked on changing some five years ago. We eliminated some of the pressure off Tiger's knee.

"That was the first thing he told me that he felt like he needed to do. He did it. He's been doing that for a long time, swinging a different way for a long time.

"There's no problem making an adjustment like that. He'll be fine. I wouldn't under-estimate anything about Tiger Woods."

see also
Iain Carter column
18 Jun 08 |  Golf
US Open play-off photos
16 Jun 08 |  Golf

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