Tiger Woods’ former caddie, Steve Williams, bit his tongue for a day, then teed off against the beleaguered former No. 1 golfer in the world for firing him.
“You could say I’ve wasted the last two years of my life,” Williams said during a TV interview in his native New Zealand.
|Tiger Woods and former caddie Steve Williams in happier times, celebrating Woods' incredible chip-in birdie on the 16th hole during the final round of The Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2005. (Getty Images Photo)
“I’ve stuck with Tiger and been incredibly loyal,” Williams told Television New Zealand Thursday. “I’m not disappointed I’ve been fired — that’s part of the job — but the timing is extraordinary.”
Golfweek reported that an unhappy Woods severed ties when a fill-in arrangement between Williams and Adam Scott went beyond the U.S. Open.
With Woods sidelined to heal an injured left knee and Achilles’ tendon, he granted Scott’s request to let Williams work his bag at Congressional. When Williams showed up again with Scott at the AT&T National, the magazine said, Woods ended his 12-year arrangement with the caddie, using words such as “disloyal” and “overcaddying.”
Williams, 47, now works Scott’s bag full-time, including last week’s tie for 25th at the British Open.
The caddie also spoke of loyalty during his TV interview, noting that he had stuck with Woods through last year’s sex scandal, a new coach, and subsequent swing changes.
“I am extremely disappointed, given that the last 18 months has been a particularly difficult time,” said Williams, who many thought knew of his boss’ string of affairs, ranging from club hostesses to porn stars to a pancake house waitress.
The Woods/Williams working arrangement grew into a friendship off the course, and they were in each other’s wedding parties. Williams’ wife, Kirsty, and Woods’ ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, were said to be very close.
“That was the most difficult period that I’ve ever been through in my life,” Williams said on TV. “I’m pretty hard-headed 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.
“My name should have been cleared immediately. It wasn’t and that’s what makes it even more disappointing what’s transpired.
“Through time I hope [Woods] can gain my respect back,” Williams told his TV interviewer. “He definitely needs to earn my respect again, that’s for sure.”
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.