July 20, 2011

Woods and Williams part ways: After 12 years and 13 majors, Tiger Woods has let caddie Steve Williams go. Williams expressed "shock" on his web site and will now continue full-time with Adam Scott. Woods has not yet named a replacement.

posted by wfrazerjr to golf at 06:09 PM - 25 comments

I'm a little put off by Williams referencing "Tiger's scandal" and complaining about the timing of his firing. Dude, you're a caddie. You made more than $1 million a year. Isn't that enough for you not to play the jilted spouse when he decides to hire somebody else?

posted by rcade at 06:46 PM on July 20

I agree with your point rcade. To me, I wonder more about Tiger's rationale for this move; is it that he needs to shake things up, or that he's blaming others for his decline? A bit of both maybe?

posted by brainofdtrain at 07:24 PM on July 20

complaining about the timing of his firing

Might have something to do with Williams having the temerity to ask to caddie for someone who's actually playing this week. He's supposed to sit around and wait until Tiger's dick cools off, I guess.

posted by yerfatma at 07:33 PM on July 20

He's a caddie. The game can move on without Tiger, it can do just fine without the guy carrying his clubs.

posted by dyams at 08:43 PM on July 20

I guess if you got your yardage book and pin data entered on a phone or tablet, you could just go to caddychicks.com and depend on Misty or Jasmine to shoulder the bag and provide input on club selection.

posted by beaverboard at 10:28 PM on July 20

@beaverboard...wow, there really is a caddychicks.com. Very nice.

The best offer I saw was from some chick in Dallas. $15.00 an hour, and she had this to say about her qualifications: "I don't know a lot about golf, but I will be very attentive. Once I learn a bit more about golf I will offer what assistance I can". Shit, $15 an hour for a cute chick to carry my clubs, be attentive, and only offer advise if she truly knows what she's talking about...that's a steal.

As to Williams, not sure why he decided to burn some bridges. He's carrying for Scott, and Tiger isn't even playing right now. Seemed like a silly statement to make.

posted by dviking at 10:53 PM on July 20

Interesting development. I thought he (Tiger) should have ditched Stevie when all the doo-doo hit the air conditioning as part of his self-proclaimed house-cleaning efforts, so when he didn't I figured they were in it for the long haul. There was plenty of chat flying around at the time that Stevie's claims that he had no idea what Tiger was up to socially had to be false; by the tone of his statement, I suspect we'll find out fairly soon if he knew more than he said.

But as the article points out, it's more unusual that a player has had the same caddie for 13 years than it is for him to switch. I'll be interested to see who he gets on the bag. Tiger "borrowed" Billy Foster from Darren Clarke for a tournament a few years ago. Foster caddied for Seve, Clarke and is currently on Westwood's bag. He'd be my target if I wanted the best, but I'm not sure he could be easily tempted.

I suppose he might try to get back to his roots and see if Fluff will come back (but I doubt that). Ricci Roberts (who caddied for Ernie for a long time) hasn't got a bag at the moment as far as I know, so might be in the frame. I've sent an SMS to each of my caddy friends asking if they have an inside track on who it's going to be, but no responses thus far.

posted by JJ at 07:08 AM on July 21

Williams is going into full bitter ex mode on this: "I've stuck by him through thick and thin, I've been incredibly loyal, and then to have this happen -- basically you can say I've wasted the last two years of my life."

Dude, just shut up already.

posted by rcade at 12:53 PM on July 21

The guy rode Tiger to a ridiculous amount of money for never actually having to make a shot, and he always seemed as if he thought he was a star. Didn't Woods dump Fluff due, in some part, because he (Fluff) was beginning to act like he was a/the celebrity? Now Williams can find out how other caddies, who aren't millionaires, have to actually live.

Tiger endured a breakup with a smoking-hot blonde. I'm sure he won't lose too much sleep over this split.

posted by dyams at 03:59 PM on July 21

I thought Williams was done after the 60 minutes interview, but Tiger kept him around longer. Still, Tiger has pretty much gotten rid of everyone at this point, so this isn't exactly a surprise.

posted by bperk at 04:12 PM on July 21

I say let Williams talk. I'm betting he passed up plenty of opportunities to take another bag when Woods couldn't keep his driver in his pants and stuck with him, and then gets rewarded by being fired when it looks like Woods might start playing again.

Wouldn't you be pissed if you stayed with an employer through tough times, then they dumped you when the sun might start shining again?

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:31 PM on July 21

Stayed with him through tough times? Really? Who could Williams possibly work for that would come close to allowing him to be as big a name or make the kind of money he did? The guy should now, and forever more, into eternity, kiss the very ground Tiger Woods walks on. Regardless of Woods' personal transgressions, he made Steve Williams, not vice versa. He's pissed because now he'll have to carry for a player who, if he's lucky, will win one event per year, get a top 10 finish, and win zero majors. The Tiger Woods gravy train has left him off at the station.

posted by dyams at 09:33 PM on July 21

Wouldn't you be pissed if you stayed with an employer through tough times, then they dumped you when the sun might start shining again?

If I was as wildly overcompensated as Williams, I'd be incapable of being pissed about a job-related grievance for the rest of my natural life. The guy's a multimillionaire. For caddying. Unless he killed a few of Tiger's mistresses and quietly disposed of their bodies, his sense of aggrievement here strikes me as incredible.

posted by rcade at 09:53 PM on July 21

Unless he killed a few of Tiger's mistresses and quietly disposed of their bodies...

Greg Maddux kills and disposes his own bodies thank you very much.

posted by BornIcon at 07:48 AM on July 22

I don't know what Steve Williams is all upset about. It wasn't an exclusive relationship at any time. Tiger's had hundreds of people on his bag over the years.

posted by tommytrump at 09:01 AM on July 22

*L* Tommy wins!

posted by JJ at 10:02 AM on July 22

But he does need to stop talking...

"I told him when we first met back in 2010 at Augusta that he had to earn my respect back. He was aware of that and he would know right now I've lost a tremendous amount of respect for him. Through time I hope he can gain my respect back. He definitely needs to earn my respect again, that's for sure."

I think you might have a bit of a wait on that one, Stevie. Maybe now he can answer the question we all really wanted answered - was he naked under his Masters boiler suit all those years.

posted by JJ at 10:06 AM on July 22

But he does need to stop talking...

Holy Hell, yes. I don't know if ESPN edited his New Zealand TV appearance so you couldn't hear the questions being asked, but it came out as Williams talking for 10 minutes without stopping. I was getting short of breath (and patience) watching him repeat himself over and over. I couldn't even think of something to say for 10 minutes straight.

Holy Hell, yes. I don't know if ESPN edited his New Zealand TV appearance so you couldn't hear the questions being asked, but it came out as Williams talking for 10 minutes without stopping. I was getting short of breath (and patience) watching him repeat himself over and over. I couldn't even think of something to say for 10 minutes straight.

Holy Hell, yes. I don't know if ESPN edited his New Zealand TV appearance so you couldn't hear the questions being asked, but it came out as Williams talking for 10 minutes without stopping. I was getting short of breath (and patience) watching him repeat himself over and over. I couldn't even think of something to say for 10 minutes straight.

posted by yerfatma at 03:37 PM on July 22

If I was Woods, I would have ditched Williams long ago, when it became perfectly clear that the Steve had no fucking clue how to celebrate amazing shots.

Example 1

posted by grum@work at 06:26 PM on July 22

I've had this rant before - probably here, but I lose track: Williams nearly cost him that Masters because of his reaction to that shot. A better caddy would have given him his five (Williams didn't even manage that at the first time of asking) and then taken Woods to one side and told him to calm down, still to holes two go. But Stevie was giving it five and punching the air - as if he'd done something other than stand about in the nude under his boiler suit - for far too long after the shot and actively stoked Woods's excitement level. As they walked up the 17th past a microphone on the teebox, you could hear him talking about the chip at 16.

Woods finished bogey, bogey and Di Marco took him to a playoff in a tournament that should have ended with that shot (and, even more annoyingly, most people you ask now think it DID).

rcade, you used the words "massively overcompensated" earlier. If the numbers in the Guardian article were even close (they suggested Williams was getting at least a million dollars a year before a ball was struck, plus 10% of the purse for a win, 7.5% for a top-ten and 5% of anything else), then I'd tend to agree that he was certainly getting richly rewarded, but I'd also say that what those guys do - the really good ones - is way beyond mere caddying. They're coaches, sports psychologists, nutritionists, walking gps systems and friends in what can be a very lonely environment when it gets down to the sharp end and everyone stops talking.

But that doesn't change the fact that he needs to stop talking now. He claims that he stuck by his man out of loyalty, but I'm going to call that horse shit. I think he stuck with him out of greed. High morals would have seen him walk away, especially if his claims to have known nothing about the kind of life Tiger was leading before his public exposure were true.

There are two things that make me think Williams is an asshole: 1. He had Tiger as his best man but then claimed he had no idea about the kind of life he was leading; if the latter is true, he had a guy he barely knew as his best man just so he could say he had. 2. He claimed to be New Zealand's highest paid "sportsman" in the very same year that Michael Campbell won the US Open.

Also, he was naked under that boiler suit!

And he needs to shut up now.

As do I.

posted by JJ at 07:27 PM on July 22

... what those guys do - the really good ones - is way beyond mere caddying.

I believe that, but I think there's a huge element of luck in the pay scale of the business Williams is in. Caddies used to share motel rooms to cut down on expenses. Williams is a multimillionaire. He earned more than enough from Woods to buy his decorum.

posted by rcade at 07:58 PM on July 22

Williams happened into a great job. I'm sure there are many caddies who could have done everything he did for Woods. The only reason this is even a story is because golf fans have become so used to seeing Williams' face during Woods' dominating performances that they think he (Wiiliams) is/was instrumental to Tiger's success. Stevie-boy now has to deal with the fact that without Tiger he's just a dude carrying clubs and not some star he seems to think he was.

posted by dyams at 09:53 PM on July 22

Stevie-boy now has to deal with the fact that without Tiger he's just a dude carrying clubs and not some star he seems to think he was.

Unless Adam Scott suddenly goes on an unearthly tear. If that happens, then maybe Stevie does bring something special to the table. I'm not holding my breath on that though, given the parity in men's golf right now.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:26 AM on July 23

And the fact that Scotty can't putt, no matter how good a read he gets!

posted by JJ at 09:41 AM on July 23

as if he'd done something other than stand about in the nude under his boiler suit

Still laughing about this.

He earned more than enough from Woods to buy his decorum.

Two things: reading it the way you meant it, I wish more people had this tattoo'd on their forehead. I don't know if it's just me aging or if it's the Internet, but it seems like everyone acts the Nouveau Richë nowadays. What I wouldn't give for some more quiet dignity and stiff upper lips.

Reading it the way you wrote it, I assume you could get Tiger's dignity for $5.99 using the "Buy It Now" option on eBay.

posted by yerfatma at 06:23 PM on July 23

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