Tiger Woods hired Steve in Australian golfer Mike Clayton said at the time, "He'll be great for Tiger He doesn't take any crap and he's. AP In , only weeks before The Masters, Tiger Woods fired his caddy, Mike " Fluff" Cowan, and replaced him with Steve Williams. Twelve. Former caddie Steve Williams was highly critical of Tiger Woods in his Instead, he accepted the apology and did his best to move on from it, while of late as he scrambled to meet it -- and would have been ineligible for the.
Generally in golf media interviews you might pussyfoot around with a few innocent questions to break the ice if there is a contentious issue, but yesterday was different.
Peter Harvey, that venerable old gentleman with the Nine Network who hasn't been sighted at a golf tournament, cut to the chase immediately. Paul Azinger, a champion tweeter among golfers, had tweeted in the US before the media conference began: I'll set the over-under at 1 and a half questions before someone asks him to respond to the vulgar blast by SW.
Steve Williams 'a slave' for Tiger Woods
Obviously it was the wrong thing to say, something that we both acknowledge, and now we're moving forward. It was hurtful, certainly, but life goes on. No, Stevie is certainly not a racist, there's no doubt about that. I think it was a comment that he shouldn't have made and was one that he wished he didn't make. It is just one of those things where we'll see what time does and, as we all know, time does heal wounds, and we'll see how it goes.
The Kiwi caddie is now on the bag for Adam Scott and Woods volunteered it was the right move for Williams. Adam is playing very well, and just won a WGC championship and professionally we [himself and Williams] have moved in different directions. He [Williams] has got a great bag and Adam's playing well.
Whenever I stayed at the same hotel as Tiger, he would usually give me a key to his room and I'd let myself in to pick up his golf bag. On this trip, however, he brought a couple of old mates with him and I wasn't given a key.
So during the week, I'd normally knock on the door and walk in. But this Sunday morning the door was locked and my repeated knocks got no response. After I'd been there 10 minutes I thought, 'This is getting weird. There's a chance we'll be late to the golf course.
I rang security to see if he was waiting for me in the lobby. He had friends there but they were dressed as if they'd recently come in from a night on the town. Tiger had a suite with a number of bedrooms and there was more than enough room for them all to stay, but I thought it was odd that they'd elected to go out all night and then disturb Tiger in the early hours of the morning when he was due to play the final round of a tournament.
Tiger looked the same — I didn't notice anything unusual about him — except he wasn't ready to play golf and seemed a bit preoccupied. He told me there'd been a change of plan and he was packing up all his gear now and would be going straight to the airport from the golf course in a helicopter without calling back to the hotel to shower and change.
Again, I thought, 'This is strange,' but by now everything was starting to seem a bit weird. And besides, we were running late.
It was the first time in 10 years that Tiger had played in Australia. There was a huge amount of anticipation about it and I was excited he was getting a chance to play at Kingston Heath, which I think is one of the best golf courses in the world.
Architecturally, it is superb. The weather was perfect, the course was perfect, Tiger played impeccably and I had a great time.
Williams, Woods have a workout
There were heaps of New Zealanders in the crowd, too — I kept hearing them yell out 'kia ora' wherever I went. In many ways, I got as much of a buzz from this tournament as from winning a major — I'd caddied a lot in Melbourne, knew my way around the place, and had spent a lot of time there when I was getting set up as a young caddie.
Next to having Tiger come to Paraparaumu, it was the closest thing to being at home. I was delighted Tiger was able to win the tournament and pick up the gaudy gold coat that is the Aussie answer to Augusta's green jacket.
But the joy of winning dissipated in the strangest fashion. No sooner had Tiger fulfilled his media obligations than he fled to the airport in a chopper, leaving me to head back to the hotel on my own.
Steve Williams (caddie) - Wikipedia
As I was driving, I got a text from Mark Steinberg which read, 'There is a story coming out tomorrow. Absolutely no truth to it. Don't speak to anybody. What did Tiger do with himself to get rid of the stress that built up in his life?
He loved the gym work and, before he got injured, the Navy Seals training. I figured that addiction to the gym was where he got rid of many of his frustrations. And when I say addiction, I mean just that: When you live so intensely in the public eye, you surely have to have something else away from the spotlight that gives you pleasure — and it turns out I was wrong about the gym. The one question I'm now regularly landed with is: How could you not know about Tiger's multitude of mistresses?
It's a valid question — it's one I would ask myself if a scandal of Tiger-like proportions happened to another caddy's boss.
How could I spend so much time with him and not have an inkling this was going on? The answer, in a roundabout way, is that Elin didn't know either.
Only a handful of his oldest buddies actually had any idea this was going on. I didn't know because Tiger didn't dare tell me. We had such a strong bond and working relationship that there was no way he could let me in on what was happening — he knew my values and that I would have zero tolerance for that kind of behaviour. I would have told him straight away that I condemned that kind of activity and, unless he stopped, there would be no conversation — that would be the end of us.
On top of that, Kirsty and Elin had become close friends and Tiger would have been aware of that as well. When [Tiger's manager] Mark Steinberg sent me that text following the Australian Masters, I had no idea what to expect.
When I first got back to New Zealand, there was nothing going on. The story being chased by the National Enquirer about an alleged affair with Rachel Uchitel — who had been with him in Melbourne — was still developing. Steinberg's warning to say nothing wasn't a problem because no one was asking.
Steve Williams' new book shows no love lost for Tiger Woods
That all changed once Tiger slow-crashed his SUV into the fire hydrant just outside his house on Thanksgiving night. He was fleeing an angry Elin, while dosed up on sleeping tablets, after she discovered he had been cheating on her. Before long, my phone wouldn't stop ringing. I distinctly remember what I was doing when I heard he'd been involved in an accident — I was in a paddock slashing the grass and listening to the radio through headphones.
I knew only what everyone else knew at that stage: Any story involving Tiger got blown out of proportion, so I was happy to wait for more details. When later reports said there were no serious injuries, I relaxed and waited to hear from him. Tiger and I had been regular communicators and I figured he would contact me soon enough.
A few days later, in late November, he emailed to say that he was in a spot of bother and would be in touch. I didn't hear from him again for four months. Every other bugger was calling me, though. The media were incredibly disrespectful with constant calls asking for information. There was no let-up. I got frustrated over that period — the media feeding frenzy was relentless. It seemed like each new day broke with another story about Tiger and in response to these daily revelations someone would want me to comment.
I was angry at him for what he'd done — especially what he'd done to Elin — but regardless of the morality of the matter, he was still a friend in trouble and I was going to stick by him. I did that even though people were accusing me of being an enabler, an accomplice, saying I was lying when I stated clearly that I knew nothing about this.
For months on end, my life was absolutely miserable. People in my local community would front up to me at the shops and call me a liar to my face, and ask, 'What are you doing with him? I was sitting on the roof of my car with Jett beside me, holding the trophy — and all I could hear were boos. Jett turned to me and asked, 'Why are these people booing you Dad?
Even when Jett returned to school at the end of the summer he'd come home and ask, 'Why do people say you're bad? I repeatedly asked for Tiger's management to release a statement that would clear me of any involvement in this lurid news.
They simply wouldn't do it because there were others in his group who knew exactly what was going on, and management felt they couldn't single out one person as innocent. Angry, frustrated and hung out to dry, I was also in limbo about when I would next work.
Tiger had taken an indefinite break from golf and I had no idea when he'd be back — or if I'd be working for him again. Quitting wasn't an option as I felt incredibly loyal to Tiger — this was the toughest time of his life and I wasn't going to ditch him.
The uncertainty came from the total lack of communication from Tiger's team.