Tiger Woods can return to the top of world golf without the aid of a swing coach, according to four-time Major champion Ernie Els.
The 38-year-old American announced earlier this week he had ended his professional relationship with Sean Foley after four years of working together culminated in a disappointing 2014 that saw the 14-time Major winner ravaged by back injuries throughout.
And with the guessing game underway to determine who may take up one of the most difficult coaching roles in sport, 2012 Open champion Els has stated he believes Woods can return to his best form alone.
"I think he doesn't need a coach," the Big Easy told reporters. "He needs maybe a friend of his to lay eyes on him all the time to check his fundamentals.
"And I think he just needs to look at tapes and see what his body can do, and see if his body can do the same as what he did back in the day."
The South African won his fourth Major honour at Royal Lytham and St. Annes two years ago at the age of 42, and is enjoying a satisfactory end to an average PGA Tour season after he contended at both the US PGA and more recently The Barclays, the opening leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Life over 40
That makes him an ideal candidate to discuss Woods' immediate golfing future.
"I don't think it's the passing of the torch yet. Because I know where I am at 44, and Tiger's not 40 yet, so there's still a lot of life left in the dog.
"He's young enough, he's strong enough. He's had some really bad injuries to his tendons and back now, that's not a great sign. But if he's healthy, he's shown that he can win," Els added.
Foley's Major failure
Despite remaining Major-less throughout Foley's four years of tutelage, Woods won five times on the PGA Tour last season which included two WGC titles as well as the lucrative Players Championship title. Those accomplishments saw him named PGA Tour Player of the Year for an incredible 11th time.
However, it is no secret that breaking Jack Nicklaus' record haul of 18 Major wins is the ultimate career goal for Tiger, and his failure to add to his tally of 14 under Foley as well as the back injuries he has suffered with his rebuilt swing appear to be the reason behind the split.
Els, though, believes Woods is not finished winning Majors just yet: "He's obviously got enough talent and his record shows for itself, he's a winner. If he gets healthy I think he can win a couple more Majors, definitely."
For now, Woods will not appear at this autumn's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles after ruling himself out of the running for one of Tom Watson''s wildcard picks.
Instead, he insists he will spend the new few months getting stronger and healthier before returning to the course at his own tournament - the Northwestern Mutual Challenge - in December.
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