So, yeah, Hank Haney's had a tough 2009. Tiger's struggling (not really, but that's the perception, which is sometimes worse), and Haney's other high-profile student, Charles Barkley, has made little progress in conquering the demons that possess his golf swing. And that was after more than nine months of work.
On Thursday, the Birmingham News Jon Solomon saw Barkley's "new" swing in action at the Regions Charity Classic and it looked a lot like the "old" swing that landed Chuck his own reality show. On the No. 6 tee, Barkley, presumably aiming for the fairway, missed. That may be understating it a tad. On the upside, spectator Tommy Parrish, standing obscenely close to the tee box ("a couple of hundred of feet away"), now has a story for the Kiwanis Club meetings. (Moving pictures after the jump.)
Reverting to his infamous golf hitch seen on a Golf Channel television show, Barkley lined the shot directly toward Parrish. Ducking his head helped Parrish, a Jasper resident nervously keeping an eye on his young grandson. But only so much.
Whack! The ball struck the back of Parrish's neck.
Don't worry, it was just a flesh wound. Barkley even autographed the golf ball that almost killed Parrish, so there's that.
Parrish later told Solomon that "I've been watching his show and thought his golf game had improved a little bit ... But it hasn't." And that's the thing: after nearly a year of work, thousands of swings, and countless hours with Haney, Barkley hasn't improved. It's mystifying, really.
But as Chuck pointed out Monday's show, "If I wasn't so rich and handsome, I'd kill myself. But I have too much to live for." There's something to be said for not taking yourself too seriously. Being rich doesn't hurt, either.
John Daly of USA looks happy with his putt during the final round of the BMW Italian Open at Royal Park I Roveri on May 10, 2009 near Turin, Italy.
Stuart Franklin, Getty Images
Porto's coach Jesualdo Ferreira celebrates winning the Portuguese Premier League title after beating Nacional in their soccer match at Dragon stadium in Porto May 10, 2009.
Fernando Veludo, Reuters
Troy Corser of Australia and BMW Motorrad Motorsport and Tommy Hill of Great Britain and Honda Althea Racing crash into each other in the first corner of race 1 of the World Superbike Championship in the Monza Circuit on May 10, 2009 in Monza, Italy.
Mirco Lazzari, Getty Images
Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (bottom) collides with Washington Capitals' Sergei Fedorov during second period in Game 4 of their NHL Eastern Conference semi-final hockey series in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 8, 2009.
Jason Cohn, Reuters
Michael Waltrip (55) catches fire as his engine blows in turn three during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500 auto race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C., Saturday, May 9, 2009.
Richard Shiro, AP
Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis, center, is congratulated by teammate Bill Walker, right, as J.R. Giddens celebrates after Davis made a game-winning shot with time running out during the second half of a second-round NBA playoff basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, May 10, 2009. The Celtics won 95-94.
Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP
San Diego Padres shortstop Chris Burke makes a diving attempt on a ground ball hit up the middle by Houston Astros' Miguel Tejada in the fourth inning during a baseball game in Houston on Sunday, May 10, 2009.
Bob Levey, AP
Aaron Ward #44 of the Boston Bruins gets punched by Scott Walker #24 of the Carolina Hurricanes during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinal round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Banknorth Garden on May 10, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Brian Babineau, NHLI / Getty Images
Chad Dawson, right, punches Antonio Tarver during the sixth round of their IBF light heavyweight championship boxing match at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Saturday, May 9, 2009 in Las Vegas. Dawson won by unanimous decision.
Isaac Brekken, AP
Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, right, celebrates with guard J.R. Smith after Anthony hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference semifinals, Saturday, May 9, 2009, in Dallas. Denver won 106-105.