But it isn’t just Mike Weir seeking out Sean Foley. Amidst reports Foley has dropped Nike, sources say the golfer is working with Foley to turn his sagging game around.
That’s right — Sean Foley is the latest coach to take on the task of trying to get Mike Weir’s game back in shape – and get McIlroy back into shape in time for the Masters.
“Mike called me last week after he hurt his ribs in Orlando,” sources close to the situation explain. “But they’ve been talking for a while. Mike is a student of the swing and it was really too bad to see the decline. That said, no one saw McIlroy coming. I mean he hangs with Tiger, and they talk about having famous athlete girlfriends, and he and Foley talk about the swing, but that’s all. Now he’s working with Foles.”
Foley told sources he’s had a dream of working with McIlroy dating back to his move to Orlando several years ago. At that time he told Globe and Mail golf commentator Lorne Rubenstein that he wanted to work with Woods — and look how that turned out.
Weir has worked with a number of teachers in recent years, including Mike Wilson, David Leadbetter Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, and even had Jack Nicklaus and Nick Price look at his swing.
“For Mike, it is getting back to the things that made him successful,” sources close to the Foley camp explained.
I texted Weir last night, but couldn’t reach him. It came as a surprise to hear Weir is working with Foley because it was long perceived the Canadian swing coach was too controversial to work with the Canadian star who is careful with his words. Foley had been seen in recent weeks hanging around Grant Waite, another teacher who embraces stack and tilt and it makes sense that he’ll take Weir back in that direction. The Canadian last won on tour while using stack and tilt, a swing theory that Foley clearly idealizes.
As for McIlroy, Foley knows his Nike — Woods plays Nike clubs — and sources say the swing teacher is preparing to tweak Rory’s swoosh-emblazoned gear to get him hitting the high cut he’ll need at Augusta.
Though he’s only got a few days to get McIlroy in shape, word has it there’s a big bonus coming from Nike if he can get Woods and McIlroy to the top of the leaderboard.
“They’ve made a big investment in McIlroy and it makes sense they’d send Rory to Sean,” says another source. “In Oregon Sean is being called ‘Dr. Swoosh,” for his propensity to help Nike’s top athletes. Others are calling him the Nike Guru.”
It isn’t the first time a star has turned to Foley to prepare for the Masters. In 2011, Canadiangolfer.com reported Foley was working with Jack Nicklaus to prep for the tournament.