Hank Haney is suing the PGA Tour for what he says is its role in his firing from a SiriusXM satellite radio show earlier this year.
Haney, a longtime golf instructor known best for working with Tiger Woods, said in a U.S. district court lawsuit that the PGA Tour “improperly intimidated, enticed and threatened SiriusXM Radio to suspend and ultimately terminate,” Haney’s show, which aired on a SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Radio station. The lawsuit also said that the tour “wanted to settle an old score relating to professional golfer Tiger Woods.”
Haney was originally suspended from his show in June after making offensive comments about women’s golf in relation to the U.S. Women’s Open.
Admitting he was not up on the women’s game, he said he would first go with a Korean golfer as a winner, then said he would go with “Lee,” and if he didn’t have to mention a first name, “I’d get a bunch of them right.”
Later in the show, Haney apologized and did so again on Twitter. But there was considerable criticism, including from 2014 U.S. Women’s Open winner Michelle Wie and the PGA Tour, which recommended the suspension.
“He deserved it,” Woods said then. “Just can’t look at life like that. And he obviously said what he meant, and he got what he deserved.”
Haney coached Woods during a period of great success, from 2004 to ’10. During that time, Woods won six major championships and a total of 31 PGA Tour titles. Haney resigned in May 2010, not long after Woods returned from a lengthy personal break.
Two years later, Haney wrote a book called “The Big Miss,” in which he delved into his coaching relationship with Woods but also shared details about Woods’ private life.
Haney’s show didn’t return; he now does a daily podcast.
According to the lawsuit, the PGA Tour had “long attempted to disrupt and interfere in Haney’s business” following the release of “The Big Miss.” The suit also alleges that the firing cost Haney advertising revenue which “would have amounted to millions of dollars over the life of the agreement.”
The PGA Tour said it would have no comment.