(Reuters) - Former world number one Tiger Woods said on Friday he has decided to end his working relationship with swing coach Chris Como, opting instead to fly solo in his latest comeback from injury.
Woods, who returned to competition three weeks ago after a near 10-month layoff during which he had spinal fusion surgery, began working with Como after a forgettable 2014 season during which injuries limited him to seven official PGA Tour events, missing the cut in two.
“Since my fusion surgery I have been working hard to relearn my own body and golf swing. I’ve done this by primarily relying on my feel and previous years of hard work with Chris,” the 41-year-old said in a statement posted on his official Twitter account.
“For now, I think it’s best for me to continue to do this on my own. I‘m grateful to Chris Como for his past work, and I have nothing but respect for him.”
Woods swung freely and with no sign of back pain at the Hero World Challenge, where earlier this month he began his latest comeback and finished tied for ninth in an 18-man exhibition that featured eight of the world’s top 10 golfers.
The 14-times major champion worked with swing coach Butch Harmon to begin his professional career, then switched to Hank Haney in 2004. Woods jumped to Sean Foley in 2010, whom he worked with for four years.
Como, in a statement provided to Golf Channel, said when he began working with Woods he was asked to help the golfer utilize his own instincts and feel while playing pain free and that he felt he accomplished the goal.
“Tiger is ready to have an incredible next run in his career. I‘m eager to watch what will be one of the most exciting sports comebacks of all time,” Como said in the statement.
“I will continue to be a close friend and resource to him and am extremely excited about Tiger’s future, the golf industry and for the fans of golf.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge