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

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.
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.
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