Williams: ‘I am very disappointed’
Tiger Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams said Thursday that he lost respect for his partner of 12 years when details of the golf superstar’s repeat adultery emerged.
The New Zealander, 47, made no public judgement as he stood by the 14-time major champion when he apologized for his widespread infidelities 18 months ago.
But a day after Woods made the surprise announcement that he had parted ways with Williams, the bagman admitted that he, too, saw golf’s phenomenon in a dimmer light.
"Well, I think when you’re great friends with somebody and a situation like this occurs, you obviously lose some kind of respect," Williams told CNN affiliate Mediaworks.
Williams was unhappy to have been dropped by Woods and felt the decision was scant reward for his loyal service.
"I’ve stuck by him through and through," Williams told 3 News. "Now he decides things aren’t going well for him, and I’m down the road, so the timing’s very disappointing."
He suggested that Woods would need to work hard to rebuild their friendship.
"First of all, the person has to gain your respect, and that’s something that I feel Tiger has to work hard on," he added, while confirming he will choose his words carefully when he comes to tell his side of golf’s most famous modern partnership.
"You know, when I write my book, it’ll be the time I decide what I write," Williams said. "It’ll just be one of those interesting chapters in the book."
Woods named no replacement during his announcement Wednesday confirming his split from Williams.
"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it’s time for a change," he said in a statement on his website. "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."
Woods missed the US Open and British Open due to left knee and Achilles injuries sustained at the Masters. It is still unclear when he will return to action, though he is slated for an appearance at a charity event Aug. 31.
Williams first acknowledged the split on his website and announced he will become the full-time caddie for Australian Adam Scott, whose bag he carried at the US Open.
"Following the completion of the AT&T National, I am no longer caddying for Tiger after he informed me that he needed to make a change," the statement read.
Williams added, "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."
Williams became best known in recent years for his run-ins with fans, particularly those who irritated Woods by snapping pictures during his swing. In 2002, at the Skins Game, Williams snatched a camera from a fan and threw it in a pond after the fan took a picture during Woods’ swing on the 18th hole.
Williams also sparked controversy in December 2008 when he said that he "hated" Phil Mickelson and called him a lewd name at a charity event. Woods later called the comments "inappropriate."