Firing sounds so harsh does it not? What about dismissing his caddy – that sounds nicer, more gentle but after 12 years…who’s your caddy? It’s not Steve Williams. I have defended Tiger Woods on this because Steve Williams, as a caddy, you’re largely paid to be anonymous yet Steve Williams became a celebrity because of Tiger. When Tiger was in chaos, Steve Williams went on 60 Minutes New Zealand to talk about it! Dude, you were signing your death sentence!!! Bad move.
Then he went out – and for the last 18 months, Tiger has been either inactive, starting and quitting tournaments or doing okay at the Masters… that’s in his last 18 months. But Tiger agreed to let Steve caddy for Adam Scott, Tiger said “okay”. He didn’t say “yeah, I’m fired up about that” he said “alright” and there is a big difference. How many times have you said “yes” but meant “not really?” So Steve Williams, who is not a paid employee but who is a “work for the cheque” employee, went out and caddied for Adam Scott – a young gifted golfer who many see as a rival of Tiger’s in the next 2 or 3 years…okay? If your wife or girlfriend says to you “I’m not going to be home tonight until 3am, I’ve got a bachelorette party” you say “alright” but you don’t mean “alright”. It must’ve played out something like this between Steve and Tiger “Hey Tiger, can I go caddy for this young phenom Adam Scott, who many think is the next you?” and Tiger goes “yeah okay”…your signing your pink slip!!
When your boss says “dude we’re tight here, I need you to work overtime again this week” and you say “sure!” do you really mean “yes, I’m fired up about it!” No! you don’t want to work, but you know the relationship. So this idea that Tiger needs Steve Williams…go look up Tiger Woods before Steve Williams. Basically they hooked up late 98’, early 99’. In 1989 – 10 years before, Tiger was 13 years old and was winning tournaments. He won 3 straight juniors, he won 21 amateurs, he turned pro in 96’, won 2 tournaments immediately, in 97’ he won 4 – won the Masters by 12 and signed with Nike for $40 million and Titleist for about the same, late 98’/early 99’ Steve Williams becomes his caddy. Tiger was a rocket headed straight up before Steve Williams. Now, Steve joined the rocket and certainly helped to keep the trajectory on course…he helped the rocket, but he wasn’t the rocket and the rocket was not veering off and becoming Woody Austin anytime soon…it was going straight up!
There are a lot of golfers that have won a lot of tournaments like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Hale Irwin…they never used Steve Williams. Who has won more than any of them except Jack? Tiger Woods!! He’s had 2 caddies and the reality of the matter is that they both became celebrities…you gotta know your place! When Pete Carroll was coaching USC and they won 34 straight – Norm Chow started thinking he was running the program…see yah Norm!
I mean, just run through the Steve Williams bites and you can tell that there‘s a sense that the money he made – his ego got out of control! In the first bite, he says that he was loyal to Tiger and that timing is what bothered him “when the chips were down I stuck by Tiger, and he put myself and my family in a difficult position there for a quite period of time, but I stuck by him – so you know, now I’m very disappointed that this comes to an end at this time. I mean, I’m not disappointed at the fact that I got fired – that is part of the job when you work in this business, there is no hidden agenda whether that’s coming or not, but its more about the timing of it, it was extraordinary to me” He put your family in a difficult position? Dude…he carried your family for a decade!! Now it’s your turn.
The truth is – if you look at what Steve Williams made, he made a salary. I gotta tell you, like I personally try to save 50% of my earnings – so that if I have a bad 18 months, I don’t have to change the quality of my life. If Steve Williams in New Zealand – which is not exactly Manhattan, where you can buy a nice house and some goats for a pretty reasonable amount. If over 10 years of earning over millions of dollars – if you didn’t put some of it away for 18 months, that’s kinda of a “you” problem! You’re a caddy, you gotta know better than that.
The other thing that is shocking to me is that Steve Williams came out and said that he had lost respect for Tiger “I certainly out of all people lost respect for Tiger and I pointed it out to him when I came back at Augusta in 2010 – you know, after what had happened, that he had to earn back my respect. I think he was slowly doing that but obviously, that isn’t the case right now” Wow!!! I’m just not going there with almost anybody. I’m not sure that I would ever go there – in a business relationship, and even though they were friends, like would you ever tell somebody at work that you were under, significantly under…that they had to earn your respect? Even if you thought of it, WOULD YOU SAY IT?? Would you go on 60 Minutes and say it? That’s exactly what Steve Williams did! I personally wouldn’t go that far.
Like this guy (Steve Williams) is arguably the highest paid athlete in his country right now…he’s a caddy! I mean, I don’t have a list of New Zealand’s all time great athlete’s, I can’t think of anybody that is as well known as Steve Williams. I mean, I’m sure there is a cricket player who is revolutionary….holy smokes!! Steve also said that he’s disappointed and that he’s basically wasted the last 2 years “oh I’m extremely disappointed, given the fact that the last 18 months has been a particularly difficult time cave for Tiger, obviously with the scandal, he’s hired a new coach has a new swing change…yeah the last 18 months have been very difficult, yet I’ve stuck by him through thick and thin and have been incredibly loyal and then to have this happen. I mean, basically you could say I’ve wasted these last 18 months of my life.”
I’ve been incredibly loyal? You could’ve bolted dude!! It’s easy to be loyal when you’re making millions of dollars a year!! I just think all of these comments are not the comments caddies should make publically…I just don’t think you should go there. I think the old adage with caddies, you know “keep up and shut up” that’s kinda what it is. You may not like that – and maybe Steve and Tiger at a bar could talk and say things, but the idea that Steve comes out this week with these comments tells me volumes about Steve Williams and his sense of self importance. I’m not saying that Steve as a human being isn’t the equal of Tiger…as a human being, as a dad, as a father! But as a professional…you’re a caddy!! When you get between the ropes and your talking business…you’re a caddy. You may be a better dad or husband – that’s different. You can argue with Tiger in a ball room, at a house, at a dinner party all day long. But to say this stuff….wow!!