'I've wasted last two years' staying loyal to Woods, says caddie Williams

steve williams, tiger woods
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"I was prepared to hang in there through thick and thin," caddie Steve Williams said, "so I find the timing" of his dismissal "extraordinary."
By
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Friday, July 22, 2011 | 1:09 a.m.

Steve Williams says he wasted the last two years of his life standing by Tiger Woods through injuries and eruptions in the golfer's private life.

In frank interviews about his dismissal published Friday in his native New Zealand, the 47-year-old caddie said he had lost "a tremendous amount of respect" for the game's biggest star.

Williams told The New Zealand Herald "realistically I could look back, and I've wasted the last two years of my life because he's played infrequently, he's been injured and played poorly."

"I was prepared to hang in there through thick and thin," Williams said, "so I find the timing extraordinary."

Williams said he had no idea he was going to be fired after a dozen years as Woods' caddie until Woods called him to a meeting at the AT&T National tournament two weeks ago.

"Sometimes you get an inkling that something's going to happen ... And I basically didn't have much to say with him. I was somewhat in a state of shock, but I just listened to what he thought," Williams told the Herald. "I didn't agree with what he was telling me but at the end of the day that wasn't going to make a difference so I just took it on the chin."

Williams told the newspaper he was not upset at being fired, but at its timing and after his staunch loyalty to Woods' during the upheaval in his private life.

"I understand that's part of the game ... To be let go after staying incredibly loyal during the most difficult time in his life and then for him to decide that he needs a change, I think that the timing has been very poor," he said. "When Tiger went through the Tiger scandal, as it's known, I was obviously very disappointed in him, as everyone was. Obviously I lost a tremendous amount of respect for him ... and I told him that he had to earn back my respect. Whatever respect he may have earned back, he's just lost."

Williams said he had not spoken to Woods since their working relationship was terminated.

In a separate interview with Television New Zealand, Williams said he felt his loyalty to Woods had not been repaid.

"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," he said. "That was the most difficult period that I've ever been through in my life. I'm pretty hardheaded 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."

Williams said he felt like he'd been considered guilty by association after sticking with Woods during the scandal.

"My name should have been cleared immediately. It wasn't and that's what makes it even more disappointing what's transpired." he told TVNZ. "I never really got pardoned from that scandal so the timing of it is extraordinary. You could say I've wasted two years of my life."

Williams also repeated his previous assertions he had no knowledge of Woods' extramarital affairs.

"I had no idea what was going on and that was the hardest part ... it was a difficult time," he told the New Zealand Herald. "I'm a straight-up person, I'm a loyal person -- if I knew something, then I'd say I did."

Williams is often described as New Zealand's highest-paid sportsman -- a definition stretched to encompass the caddie who may have banked around $9 million during his association with Woods. He operates a charitable foundation which makes regular donations to an Auckland children's hospital and is highly respected by New Zealanders.


Comments

wiz6686

Read what Tiger wrote "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." I might not be a fan of Tiger but Stevie has no class for what he was saying about Tiger. Give Tiger a little respect. Stevie left the last boss for Tiger. Was he royal to that boss. Tiger gave him a good finance so he should be happy and thankful. It doesn't matter if it is not the right time or not. Maybe he did Stevie a favor since he hasn't payed that much so Steve can caddy for someone else and has an income. Just my 2 cents.

martyf2

This firing of Steve Williams by Tiger was unexpected and unfortunate for both parties. Tiger seems to work on what I call, Calculated Impulse. Meaning he goes as far as more than a passing thought as to the pros and the cons of his actions, but that is as far and as deep as Tiger goes. Anything long term such as friendships, marraiges, partnerships all will eventually go by the wayside with TIger. So, Steve should've been aware of the nature of this Tiger. Loyalty means nothing more than a word to Tiger. He shows no loyalty to anyone but himself. It is unfortunate for TIger and for Steve to end their partnership like they did, with anymosity. Will Tiger be back.....YES, but not the same fiercesome, prowling TIger like we knew him to once be. Will he win another major.....Probably not until he gets his head on straight. We golfers all know that to play golf is 90% a thinkers game. THe rest is physical ability.

pwcarino

Mark my words...Tiger will roar again...

harker1965

Why is he complaining?? He knows Tiger's an ass and couldn't care less about his family let alone a flipping caddy! Come to think of it, Steve Williams is an ass, so maybe it's a little Karma coming back around.

mwillow

OK ... just another time-consuming soap opera of other people's lives. Given that, I think it's time to tee it up ourselves and put both celebrity antics, and the subsequent fixations, behind us. Fortunately, the PGA Tour is in good shape.

texztwist

what a joke .. steve has lead this person thru thick and thin and now gets the boot??? he could be playing on the senior tour his self and probably win

bobmuir

Then go back home baby. People around the world are suffering, losing money in the market, and some are just plain out of work. We don't want to here your complaints about being a millionare. I can't stand Tiger either! Both you and Tiger are very ignorant to the fans. Also, keep your caddie bib on until you leave the 18th green - show some respect for the game!

junar929

Steve is a cry baby, He should thank Tiger for giving him the opportunity to work for him and move on.

hlclay

Tiger has to win his respect??? and he told him that!!!! With that and the need for Tiger to put the last several years of his life behind may have been the reasons for letting him go. What ever the reason, he has been well paid for his work.

ronannz

Would Bones say the things that Stevie said to Bones and Phil that Tiger had to get STEVIE to appologize for. Would Bones throw people camera's in the water. When someone starts saying "well my wife and his former wife are good friends" not put a damper on a relationship??? Loyal employer!!! What about loyal employee - He went out and caddied for Adam Scott. Stevie new about this at the AT&T when he once again showed up with Adam Scott RELATIONSHIP HAD COME TO AN END. DUH - Stevie was on a yearly retainer so do not shoot off your mouth like STEVIE is - I sure hope Tiger puts a law suite against him to cease and disist. STEVIE IS A BULLY AND A MOUTH PIECE THAT DOES NOT DO HIM WELL in future when other people SNUB HIM AND Adam Scott.

laurar909

Would Phil do this to Bones?????
I think not!

laurar909

It is a sad day. They were a great team. When Tiger won The Open Championship, and Steve was the guy there......I don't know. I'm older and have gone through things with close friends. Some are still friends, some aren't. All good things come to end, sooner or later. Till death do us part, doesn't work for pro golfers and their caddy. Unless your Tom Watson......now there's a loyal employer.