Why did Tiger Woods fire his caddie? Exploring reasons behind golfer's split with Steve Williams

A still of Tiger Woods (Image via AP)
A still of Tiger Woods (Image via AP)

When Tiger Woods became a household name in the 2000s, his caddie Steve Williams was ubiquitous by his side as Woods created an unbelievable streak most golfers only dream of. Williams was Woods' caddie in 13 Major wins. While he may not be the reason behind Woods' monumental performances, he did play a role.

Williams was more than just a caddie to the golf legend. He time and again stepped up to protect Woods from the media and the public. Notably, he once threw a spectator's camera into the pond for taking pictures of Woods during a backswing.

Despite their seemingly fruitful relationship, Woods fired Williams in 2011 after their relationship soured following Woods' cheating scandal came to light.

Although the exact reason for firing Williams and the precise time of the affair has been disputed, let's try to decipher the split between the two after they created golfing history together.

Why did Tiger Woods fire Steve Williams?

Steve Williams started caddying with Woods at a time when he nearly quit the line of work. In an interview with PGA Tour, Williams said that he almost said no to the opportunity of working with Woods, as he had decided that 2000 would be the last year for him caddying. He said:

"I was back in New Zealand and my first tournament that year was going to be at Doral with Raymond (Floyd). I didn’t even know that (Tiger’s former caddie) Mike ‘Fluff’ Cowan had been let go. I’d also decided that I’d had enough, and 2000 was going to be my last year caddying, so when Tiger called me, I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to take the job. But I flew to Orlando and interviewed with him, and he hired me on the spot."

Of course, Williams went on to have a great run with the legendary golfer. However, after Woods' scandal came to light, every aspect of his life got impacted. According to reports, things started turning sour between the two at this time. The final blow apparently arrived when Williams agreed to caddie for Adam Scott in that year’s U.S. Open. Both parties kept quiet about their souring relationship, but this event is well-known.

When Williams took the job during Woods' break. Tiger Woods apparently first agreed to it but later changed his mind. Speaking about his fallout with the golfer, Williams said:

"Adam heard Tiger Woods pulled out and wondered where I was. I phoned Tiger about it, and he said, ‘No problem.’ After some thought, though, he didn’t agree with it. Tiger changed his mind. Well, I’d already told Adam I would be there.

He continued:

"I wasn’t prepared to ring Adam up and say I can’t do it. I’m a man of my word. I had no idea I was going to get fired over it. I also hadn’t worked a lot. Not that I needed the money, but I wanted to work. I was told (by Tiger) after U.S. Open that I no longer had a job, and it’s as simple as that.

Williams continued to prosper in his field after Woods fired him. He caddied with Adam Scott till 2017. He also worked with Danielle King and Jason Day. Tiger Woods and Williams have seemingly moved on their separate ways since then.

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Edited by Bhargav
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