AS IF Tiger Woods didn’t have enough on his plate while recovering from surgery, his former caddie Steve Williams is expected to release an autobiography which heavily criticises the 14-times Major champion’s infidelity scandal and on-course behaviour.
The Kiwi bagman has written the autobiography with journalist Michael Donaldson, and New Zealand’s Stuff.co.nz has published an excerpt from a chapter that details the 2009 news break of Woods’ extra-marital affairs.
Williams claims he didn’t have any knowledge of the Woods’ infidelity.
“Only a handful of his oldest buddies actually had any idea this was going on,” Williams wrote. “I didn’t know because Tiger didn’t dare tell me. We had such a strong bond and working relationship that there was no way he could let me in on what was happening — he knew my values and that I would have zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.
“But regardless of the morality of the matter, he was still a friend in trouble and I was going to stick by him. I did that even though people were accusing me of being an enabler, an accomplice, saying I was lying when I stated clearly that I knew nothing about this. For months on end, my life was absolutely miserable.”
The 51-year-old also details the on-course behaviour that annoyed Williams.
“One thing that really pissed me off was how he (Tiger) would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up,” Williams wrote.
“I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club, it was like I was his slave. The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt. Tiger listened to what I had to say, the air was cleared and we got on with it – his goal was to be the best player in history and my goal was to keep working as best I could to help make that happen.”
“The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt.”
Woods and Williams began working together in 1999, with Woods winning his second Major title later that year at the US PGA Championship. Williams also was Woods’ best man at his wedding.
Williams, in the excerpt, describes the day the scandal broke while the pair were in Melbourne for the 2009 Australian Masters at Kingston Heath.
“I was delighted Tiger was able to win the tournament and pick up the gaudy gold coat that is the Aussie answer to Augusta’s green jacket,” he wrote.
“But the joy of winning dissipated in the strangest fashion. No sooner had Tiger fulfilled his media obligations than he fled to the airport in a chopper, leaving me to head back to the hotel on my own. As I was driving, I got a text from Mark Steinberg which read, ‘There is a story coming out tomorrow. Absolutely no truth to it. Don’t speak to anybody.’
“In the back of my mind, one thought often replayed, over and over, without an answer: What did Tiger do with himself to get rid of the stress that built up in his life? He loved the gym work and, before he got injured, the Navy Seals training. I figured that addiction to the gym was where he got rid of many of his frustrations. And when I say addiction, I mean just that: year by year he got more and more hooked on working out.
“When you live so intensely in the public eye, you surely have to have something else away from the spotlight that gives you pleasure – and it turns out I was wrong about the gym. The one question I’m now regularly landed with is: How could you not know about Tiger’s multitude of mistresses? It’s a valid question – it’s one I would ask myself if a scandal of Tiger-like proportions happened to another caddy’s boss. How could I spend so much time with him and not have an inkling this was going on? The answer, in a roundabout way, is that Elin didn’t know either. Only a handful of his oldest buddies actually had any idea this was going on. I didn’t know because Tiger didn’t dare tell me. We had such a strong bond and working relationship that there was no way he could let me in on what was happening – he knew my values and that I would have zero tolerance for that kind of behaviour. I would have told him straight away that I condemned that kind of activity and, unless he stopped, there would be no conversation – that would be the end of us.