July 20, 2011
While most everything that involves Tiger Woods is news, this one shouldn't be that much of a shocker.
Team Tiger announced on its website Wednesday that Steve Williams will no longer be working with Woods as a caddie, ending a 12-year relationship that saw the two rack up 13 of Tiger's 14 major championships.
Here is the official statement from Tiger's website:
"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."
While it might be a big change, it isn't exactly surprising. Williams has been working with Adam Scott since Tiger has been injured, and the two seem to have a good chemistry together. Along with that, it seems that anything and everything that Woods can change to get him on a different path with his golf game would be a smart move, and although some suggested this back in 2009, it finally came Wednesday.
Williams posted an update on his website, saying, "After 13 years of loyal service needless to say this came as a shock. Given the circumstances of the past 18 months working through Tiger's scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change and Tiger battling through injuries I am very disappointed to end our very successful partnership at this time. I have had the opportunity to work of late for Australian Adam Scott and will now caddy for him on a permanent basis."
The caddie-player relationship has always been an interesting one. If you think about it, most PGA Tour players spend more time with their caddie than they do with their family, and while there are some relationships like Phil Mickelson and Jim Mackay that look like they'll never end, players change caddies all the time (just ask any LPGA player you know).
No replacement has been announced for Tiger yet, and since there is nothing else to say, we might as well remember two moments that defined the relationship between Williams and Woods.
The first came at the 2006 British Open, Tiger's first major win since the passing of his father, Earl. Woods rolled in the winning putt, and collapsed in Williams' arms on the green, not letting go as he sobbed on the looper's shoulder. The second came at the 2009 Bay Hill Invitational, when Tiger's birdie putt disappeared and his return from injury was complete. They both celebrated like it was their first win, and the competitive nature of both player and athlete shined through.
Most regard Williams as one of the best caddies ever, and while it looks like his relationship with Scott will continue, the waiting game will be just who is the next to carry the bag of Mr. Woods.
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