As you’ve all heard by now (and apologies for my absence), Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams have parted ways after their twelve-year relationship. News broke on Wednesday via Tiger’s website, saying, “I think it’s time for a change.”
Of course that’s equivalent to: It’s not you, it’s me.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it’s time for a change,” Woods said. “Stevie is an outstanding caddie and a friend and has been instrumental in many of my accomplishments. I wish him great success in the future.”
Presently, a replacement has not been named.
Woods continues to rest and rehabilitate his left leg. No decision has been made when he will return to competition on the PGA Tour.
Following the completion of the AT&T National I am no longer caddying for Tiger after he informed me that he needed to make a change. After 13 years of loyal service needless to say this came as a shock. Given the circumstances of the past 18 months working through Tiger’s scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change and Tiger battling through injuries I am very disappointed to end our very successful partnership at this time. I have had the opportunity to work of late for Australian Adam Scott and will now caddy for him on a permanent basis. Having started my caddying career with Australian great Peter Thompson and working for Greg Norman in the 80’s I am excited about the future working for another Australian.
According to Golfweek, Tiger ended things at the AT&T when Stevie’s substitute agreement with Scott went past the US Open.
Stevie isn’t happy with Tiger and he’s not mincing words to the media. He was surprised at getting sacked considering he’s stood by Tiger in the last 18 months during the post-hydrant era. He told Television New Zealand:
“You could say I’ve wasted the last two years of my life. I’ve stuck with Tiger and been incredibly loyal. I’m not disappointed I’ve been fired – that’s part of the job – but the timing is extraordinary.
“I am extremely disappointed, given that the last 18 months has been a particularly difficult time.
“With the scandals, a new coach, a swing change, I’ve stuck with him through thick and thin and been incredibly loyal – and then this happens.
“I wouldn’t ditch someone when the chips are down. I’ve stuck by Tiger and put myself and my family in a difficult position.
“I’m a very big stickler for loyalty and I stuck with Tiger through his difficult period when a lot of people thought I should have left his side.
“That was the most difficult period that I’ve ever been through in my life.
“I’m pretty hard headed and took it probably a lot better than my wife and family did, but there’s no way that I should have been put through that.
“My name should have been cleared immediately. It wasn’t and that’s what makes it even more disappointing what’s transpired.
“I, along with a lot of people, lost a lot of respect for Tiger [over his extra-marital affairs] and I pointed out before his return at the Masters at Augusta in 2010 that he had to earn back my respect.
“Through time I hope he can gain my respect back. He definitely needs to earn my respect again, that’s for sure.
What’s the word inside the ropes? Well, many stand by Stevie’s declarations that he had no idea about Tiger’s trysts because he’s very family oriented and sticks to his values. Apparently when Stevie returned to work for Tiger after the scandal, it was a bit awkward at first because Stevie’s wife was close to Elin and wanted him to quit, but Stevie stayed loyal to his now-former boss.
Sounds like Williams is venting after 18 months of silence while he was still under Tiger’s payroll.
What’s more, Stevie plans to write a book about his life, but says his former boss will “just be one of those interesting chapters in the book.” Don’t expect some tell-all, but he didn’t have a confidentiality clause regarding his 12-plus-year relationship with Tiger.
If I’m Tiger, I start working on gaining Stevie’s respect back. Which doesn’t sound like it’ll be an easy feat.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)