Tiger Woods has fired his long-time caddie Steve Williams after some 250 tournaments, 12 years together, 73 wins and 13 majors. Williams has said he was “shocked,” and “disappointed.” A report linked below said he has known for two weeks. Hank Haney, Tiger’s former coach, said he’s “stunned” that Tiger would let go of the “best caddie I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe that he got fired.” Woods won 6 major tournaments while working with Haney, and a total of 32 PGA events.
While Tiger has been away from tournament play recovering from an injury, Williams has been on Adam Scott’s bag, including at the U.S. Open, and reportedly received Tiger’s blessing to do so. Scott, an Australian player, ranks 17th in World Rankings as of July 17th, 2011. Williams, 47, says he will continue working with Adam Scott.
[Woods] “I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it’s time for a change,” Woods said on his website. “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.”
Woods did not say who would replace Williams or when he would return to golf.
Williams, who previously worked for Raymond Floyd and Greg Norman, had worked the last three tournaments with Adam Scott. That included the last two majors, which Woods skipped while trying to recover from injuries to his left leg.
When asked over the weekend at the British Open if he was still working for Woods, Williams grinned and said, “Why would you ask a question like that?” He never answered the question but gave no indication that he would not caddie for Woods when he did return.
Turns out he had known for two weeks.
Williams met with Tiger in a board room at the Aronimink after the AT&T National’s final round, and was told they were parting ways. “Stevie” said he kept quiet out of respect for Adam Scott,” not wanting a media frenzy to interrupt play.
The Washington Times says problems began with the relationship after Woods’ Thanksgiving evening crash when the scandal of the Woods Women broke. The two men got engaged on the same safari and were in each other’s weddings. Elin Nordgren Woods was reportedly a close friend of Williams’ wife. The same report says Williams, a New Zealander, went months without hearing anything from Tiger, and was not told that Woods was not planning to play in the 2011 U.S. Open until later than he thought appropriate.
Around my house, hubby often reminds me that Williams made some remarks about Phil Mickelson a few years ago. The way I remember it, Williams questioned why Mickelson was so hugely popular with the crowds. The answer, of course, was that Phil doesn’t curse, throw his clubs or ignore the crowds. People love him because he smiles and is generous in so many ways. But here’s the comment I found online, made to the UK Guardian in 2008:
“I wouldn’t call Mickelson a great player, ’cause I hate the prick”. [Then the next day to the Star Times] “I don’t particularly like the guy. He pays me no respect at all and hence I don’t pay him any respect. It’s no secret we don’t get along either.”
Hubby feels Tiger echoed Williams sentiments, even if silently. He was by far a better judgement of Tiger’s character than I.
Today, Tiger’s the last one I want to win, unless an American isn’t in the running. I’ll pick Tiger to win as an American player before I’ll cheer for another country. Having said that, I thought it really exciting to see the Irish triumph when Darren Clarke won the British Open and Rory McIlroy the U.S. Open with an 8 shot lead. No word yet on Tiger’s next sidekick.