Tiger Woods’ long-time caddie, fired in early July, was emboldened by the first victory for the man he now works for and did what caddies never do: He talked.
Williams was the more popular interview target when Adam Scott wrapped up his WGC Bridgestone Invitational victory Sunday and he continued to be blunt about the dissolution of his relationship with Woods.
“I've been caddying for 33 years and I've never had a bigger win,” said Williams, who toted the bag for 13 major championship victories with Woods. It was his 145th victory as a caddie.
Oddly, after years of being seen as the bad guy because of his often thuggish ways with spectators, Williams was greeted with chants of “Ste-vie! Stevie!” as he took the flag from the 18th pin, a customary souvenir.
“I was absolutely shocked that I got the boot, to be honest with you. I caddied for the guy for ... years and I was incredibly loyal to the guy and I got short-shrifted. Very disappointing,” Williams said afterword. He disputed Woods’ account that the breakup was face-to-face. “I was told on the phone that we needed to take a break and in caddie lingo that means you’re fired. Simple as that.”
Woods, who lost another endorsement deal when Tag Heuer did not renew his contract, was finished well before Williams made his comments. He finished smack in the middle of the pack in his first tournament after a three-month break because of injuries, earning $58,500 for finishing in a tie for 37th. Although it is not known how much of a commission Williams earned, Scott made $1.4 million. Most likely, Williams’ take was around $140,000.
The greeting for Williams, who has said he may write a tell-all book, made for a surreal scene, as Paul Azinger tweeted.
Steve Williams breaks the unwritten caddy rule, by talking to the press. Most don't, a few do at times when appropriate. #notapopularguy
I think CBS did the right thing trying to get Steve W interview. That he accepted? Well he's clearly ticked at Tiger #butbestweekever?
Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, disputed Williams’ version of the firing. “Tiger's duties to the AT&T National were complete on Wednesday of that week,” Steinberg said. “He went there specifically on that Sunday to talk to Steve in person. He did it [the firing] after everything was concluded that day.”