Golf’s Biggest Breakup

Elin Nordegren and Steve Williams now have something in common: both were dumped by Tiger Woods. Williams, being the most recent victim, says he’s shocked by the news. But should he be? The Woods-Williams relationship lasted longer than most Hollywood marriages and for that matter, most marriages in general. Stevie, as he’s affectionately known, should be thankful to Tiger for bestowing him the best decade of his life. Not only did Tiger make Williams a household name, he effectively wrote him his retirement check.

Being a caddie definitely has its ups and downs. With all the travel and all the expenses, if your boss isn’t having a good week, it can be quite taxing on the body and especially the wallet. Since Tiger said, “hello world” in 1996, he’s amassed over 96 million dollars in career earnings. Today’s caddies roughly earn 5-10 percent, depending on the player. I’ll depend on Williams to do that math equation.

Stevie, who joined up with Woods in 1999, found himself a gold mine and hung on for the ride. After Tiger ran into the infamous green fire hydrant, Williams had the honor of answering relentless questions from tireless golf writers. Williams, I mused, did a pretty good job combating the questions. Stevie, however, denied ever knowing anything about Woods’ personal life. Right, and Bill Clinton never had “sexual relations with that woman.”

As bumpy as the ride was, I’m sure Stevie was still able to put food on the table. After the 18-month scandal that surrounded Woods, Williams told Tiger that he would have to earn his respect again. I’m sure Tiger didn’t take that too well after all he’d done for Williams’ career. Fast forward to the 2011 Masters where Tiger reaggravated his knee injury, putting him on the sideline for an undetermined amount of time. He would later withdraw from The Players Championship after shooting 42 on the front nine.

During that time, Williams caddied for Adam Scott. Tiger, of course, gave his blessing. Begrudgingly I’m sure. Williams was on Scott’s bag for the U.S. Open at Congressional then continuing at the AT&T National, ironically hosted by Woods himself.

Not playing in the event, Woods fired Stevie that week which became public knowledge a few weeks later when Tiger made a statement on his website making the firing official. As a caddie, your job could be terminated at any point, even during a round of golf. Just ask Jay Williamson, who fired his caddie on the 15th hole during the 2007 Canadian Open.

I’ll give Stevie one thing: he sure can keep a secret. As good a secret as it was, it was time for a change. Change is a good thing, especially in Tiger’s life. A clean slate is what Tiger needs, and if hurting Stevie’s feelings is apart of it, so be it. They’ll both be better off.

All caddies know the caddie code: show up, shut up, and keep up. Stevie nailed two out of three. Knowing his relationship with Tiger was over, Williams fired back at Woods saying he felt betrayed and hurt.

Wait, what?

Now, I understand Williams being hurt because he just got dumped, but Tiger betraying him might be going too far. Call me cynical, but most caddies on tour would love to have the opportunity that Williams had for the better part of his career. Not that most people would care, but Steve Williams has his own website. Yes, you read that correctly. A caddie has his own website.

Woods is currently waiting for his thank you card.

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