For 12 years, Steve Williams quietly held Tiger Woods‘ golf clubs. Williams subscribed to the “be seen, not heard” strategy of most professional caddies, staying out of the spotlight during Tiger’s glory years, and remaining loyally mum during his boss’s infidelity controversy.
But when Woods fired Williams on July 3rd, reportedly by phone, Williams got angry. Then he got emboldened.
That’s because the new guy he’s caddying for, Australian Adam Scott, won this weekend’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron. Woods, meanwhile, finished in 37th place, and with a £38,000 check that was £47,000 less than his former employee’s. What’s more, the crowd was actually cheering for Williams, and chanting his name. Keep in mind, this guy is not actually playing.
Williams used this newfound sympathy as an opportunity to get catty on Tiger, saying, “This is my 167th win and easily the sweetest of my life.” He remained salty about his firing-by-phone, adding, “I’ve caddied for the guy for 12 years, I’ve been incredibly loyal to the guy and I got short-shrifted.”
And if you’d think that “Tiger Woods’ caddie takes shots at Tiger Woods” would make for a popular story today, you’d be absolutely right. Williams newfound confidence and scorned-caddie act has gotten a lot of attention — and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith doesn’t get it.
Smith, filling in for Mike Golic on ESPN Radio today, found the whole thing perplexing. His argument: Williams is a caddie.
Williams probably deserves at least one “screw you, Tiger,” gloating session. But if this becomes a regular thing (and his book gets extremely personal), then he’s going to start looking petty. And nobody likes a petty, bitchy caddie.