Los Angeles – Phil Mickelson and swing
coach Butch Harmon announced on Wednesday they have decided to part ways after
an eight-year partnership that brought two majors among 12 PGA Tour victories.
Mickelson, 45, has slipped to 25th in the
world after back-to-back winless seasons.
He said in a statement released to golf.com
that he had improved a great deal after working with one of the sport’s
greatest teachers but that he was looking for a fresh approach.
“I’ve learned a great deal from him in
our eight years together. It’s just that at the moment I need to hear new ideas
from a different perspective,” said Mickelson, who last recorded a victory
at the 2013 British Open.
Mickelson linked up with Harmon in 2007 and
notched up 12 PGA victories including the 2010 Masters and the 2013 Open.
The change comes after two consecutive
winless seasons, the longest drought of a professional career that includes 42
PGA Tour wins.
Mickelson said Harmon deserved a place
among the greats of the game.
“Butch is one of the great teachers in
the history of the game, and I believe he deserves to be in the World Golf Hall
of Fame,” he said.
The 72-year-old Harmon, who has coached
some of golf’s biggest names including Tiger Woods and currently has the likes
of Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler on his books, said there were no hard
feelings about the split.
“Helping him win the Open Championship
in 2013 was one of the pinnacles of my career,” Harmon said in the statement.
“I see nothing wrong with him seeking
advice from another source. We’re great friends and always will be.”