Fired caddie Steve Williams says of Tiger Woods: ‘I've wasted two years of my life’


Steve Williams and Tiger Woods ... in (as they say) happier days. (Lynne Sladky / AP)

“Basically, you could say I've wasted two years of my life, the last two years,” Williams said in a Television New Zealand interview.

Williams, 47, was Woods’ caddie for 12 years, 72 tournament victories and 13 of his 14 major championships. With Woods playing only nine holes of golf as he recovers from knee and Achilles’ injuries, Williams became the caddie for Australian Adam Scott in the U.S. and British Opens and, during the AT&T National — Woods’ tournament — he fired Williams.

“I am extremely disappointed, given the fact that the last 18 months has been a particularly difficult timeframe for Tiger,” Williams said, speaking of Woods’ personal problems and divorce. In addition to Williams, Woods has also replaced his swing coach, Hank Haney, and IMG as he continues to re-invent his life since the events of Thanksgiving 2009.

“Obviously, working through a scandal, he’s had a new coach, a swing change, the last 18 months has been very difficult and I've stuck by him through thick and thin. I’ve been incredibly loyal — and then to have this happen, basically you could say I’ve wasted two years of my life, the last two years.”

RT @HankDHaney: Wow, Tiger let Steve Williams go, I am shocked, Stevie is the best caddy I have ever seen and been a big part of a lot o ...less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Replywashington post live
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Williams, who is from New Zealand, and Woods struck a friendship as well as a professional relationship — and therein lies a large part of the problem. Each was in the other’s wedding and when Woods’ marriage to Elin Nordegren crumbled and he struggled on the golf course, both parts of their relationship were strained.

“I wouldn't ditch someone when the chips are down. I've stuck by Tiger. He put myself and my family in a difficult position there for quite a period of time,” Williams said. “I stuck by him and was loyal to him, so I’m very disappointed that it’s come it an end at this time. I'm not disappointed I've been fired — that's part of the job — when you work in this business there’s no hidden agenda, but the timing of it is extraordinary to me.”

It sounds as if this will be very, very difficult to patch up — especially if Adam Scott’s career takes off.

“Given ... what’s transpired in the last 18 months, I certainly along with a lot of people lost respect for Tiger [because of his extra-marital affairs] and I pointed out before his return at the Masters at Augusta in 2010 after what had happened that he had to earn back my respect. slightly he was doing that, but obviously that isn’t the case right now.”

Sounds like Steve Williams has a lot to say on the topic of Tiger Woods, as a friend and an employer. Woods had better hope Williams doesn’t get the itch to write a book.

Thomas Boswell: Split was overdue

Tracee Hamilton: Woods sheds another part of old life

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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