Skip to main content

Westwood dumps coach after miserable PGA Championship

updated 5:42 AM EDT, Wed August 15, 2012
Lee Westwood lines up a putt during a disappointing first round of 75 at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course.
Lee Westwood lines up a putt during a disappointing first round of 75 at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lee Westwood has sacked his coach after missing the cut at the PGA Championship
  • Westwood also replaces caddy in buildup to PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs
  • Tiger Woods and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy paired together for Barclays first round
  • Woods confirms appearances at three FedEx Cup playoffs

(CNN) -- Former world No. 1 Lee Westwood has sacked his coach and caddy following a disappointing showing at the U.S. PGA Championship last week.

Westwood missed the cut at Kiawah Island following a 45th-place finish at July's British Open, and has reacted by dismissing respected coach Peter Cowen and bag-man Michael Waite.

The English golfer is looking to arrest a slide which has seen him slip to fourth in the rankings, with his form falling away since finishing third at the season's opening major, the Masters in April, and then winning the Scandinavian Masters in June.

Cowen coaches a number of players on the tour, including former major champions Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen, who finished 11th and 21st respectively at the PGA, and Westwood appears to have grown unhappy at the amount of time he was able to spend with his coach.

"Lee is very structured about going to the gym, but not about practicing so when Graeme McDowell and Pete's other players are booking him, Lee is leaving it late and is having to work around them," Westwood's manager Chubby Chandler told the player's website.

McIlroy: 'Doesn't get better than this'
Davis Love III's golfing family
Golfing in the 'People's Paradise'
Kaymer's consistent iron game

"Pete was at Kiawah for two days with Graeme this week when Lee wanted to work with him, so it just wasn't working out.

"When you miss the cut after that, it gets even more frustrating, and that probably brought matters to a head," explained Chandler, who used to manage 2010 U.S. Open champion McDowell and counts that year's British Open winner Oosthuizen among his current stable.

"Lee admits he needed to shake things up because he'd lost his focus and his enthusiasm a bit, because he wasn't getting the rewards for his long game."

"Lee needs to try something different with his chipping and putting. Lee's the sort who needs someone standing over him, making him hit chip after chip and telling him what he's doing wrong.

"It's not like he's got the yips or anything -- he just needs to improve his technique."

With the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs starting next week', Westwood has moved quickly to put a new support team in place for the opening event -- the Barclays.

Zimbabwean Mike Kerr, who has worked with Alvaro Quiros and Ernie Els, will temporarily take over as caddy, while a new coach is already working with Westwood.

"I won't say who it is, but it will become public next week, because he'll be working with Lee for a few days at the Barclays tournament," said Chandler.

"All I'll say is that it's not one of the usual suspects -- it's someone a bit different. It's an interesting choice."

The Barclays organizers have confirmed that Tiger Woods and new world number one Rory McIlroy will be paired together for the first two rounds at Bethpage.

American Jason Dufner, currently third in the standings and a two-time winner this year, could still overhaul Woods at the top with a tie for second or better this week's final regular-season tournament, the Wyndham Championship.

Two-time FedEx Cup winner Woods has committed to the first three playoff tournaments. Along with an appearance at Bethpage, where he won the 2002 U.S. Open, Woods will play at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston and the BMW Championship at Carmel.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:47 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
updated 8:18 AM EST, Thu December 11, 2014
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
updated 6:29 AM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
updated 5:24 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
updated 10:49 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
updated 12:48 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
updated 12:09 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
updated 8:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
updated 9:01 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT