Look, on the PGA Tour, there are two
types of caddies: those who have been fired
and those who are waiting to be. So, before
we get all breathless about Tiger Woods
kicking Steve Williams to the curb, remember that nothing on Tour lasts forever.
You ride the hot streak as long as you
can and when it all starts going south,
which it always does, you make a change.
Just like in team sports, you can’t fire the
players, so you do the next logical thing:
You fire the caddie.
Except Steve Williams adopted the one
attitude you cannot afford in matters such
as these. He took it personally. As they say
in Texas, it ain’t personal, son; it’s just
Needless to say, Stevie is running hot
about getting the sack and he’s letting
everybody know it. For a guy who didn’t
talk to the press at all when he was Tiger’s
man, he certainly is taking his message to
the airwaves and he’s not being the least
“Basically, you could say that I wasted
the last two years of my life,” he told New
That coming from a man who has become a millionaire carrying a golf bag for
a living. He hasn’t hit one shot in competition on the PGA Tour. David Feherty always
said that Williams, when he was in Tiger’s
employ, was one bad club selection away
from slinging luggage at LaGuardia.
Nevertheless, Williams feels he has
been badly treated in exchange for his
loyalty. When Tiger’s transgressions were
being made public, many eyes turned to-
ward Williams as being duplicitous. Woods
could not possibly have juggled as many
dalliances as advertised without someone’s
help keeping things secret. Williams was
thought of as Tiger’s aide de camp.
at the U.S. Open and the AT&T and
he received it. So,
wasn’t the cause
for dumping Williams.
Neither Williams nor
Woods revealed what was said
at Aronimink and that’s just as well.
However, Williams did say that he was not
satisfied with Woods’ reasons for letting
him go. And, he was asked by New Zealand
radio whether the split was amicable.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Williams said. “I
wouldn’t say that at all.”
Now comes the demolition derby of
speculation concerning who will be Woods’
next caddie. Navarro’s name is near the
top of the list, as is Ricci Roberts. Navarro
not only worked for Scott, but was Greg
Norman’s man for a number of years when
Norman was No. 1 in the world. Roberts
was employed long-term by Ernie Els until
they decided to take some time apart.
One name tossed out is Terry McNamara, who was Annika Sorenstam’s caddie
for a number of years. McNamara is said to
have both the experience and the temperament to handle a situation such as having
Tiger as a boss.
Regardless, it’s going to take a special
personality to take Woods’ bag. Whoever
it is will have to be firm inside the ropes
and quiet outside. The man who preceded
Williams was Mike (Fluff) Cowan, who was
hired away from Peter Jacobsen when
Woods joined the Tour, and was fired after
a couple of seasons when Cowan was
giving interviews and doing commercials.
Woods doesn’t want anyone on his team
getting more attention than he does.
Williams maintains that after his career
is over, he will write a book. And the Woods
years will make for “an interesting chapter,” he says. Odds are, if such a book is to
be written, the Woods years will be more
than one chapter.
Don’t feel the least bit sorry for Williams. He has plenty of money, unless he’s
spent it all driving race cars. And he has a
job. The gig with Scott has become permanent. Still, Williams is feeling like the
caddie scorned and will be for some time.
He was asked if he was disappointed.
“Disappointed, angry – to me those two
words are about the same,” he said. Fired,
disloyal – those are in the same context, as