WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Tiger Woods’ caddie Steve Williams denied on Sunday he had any knowledge of the golfer’s “indiscretions.”
In an interview with New Zealand’s Sunday News newspaper, Williams said he was angry with an American sports writer who said he must have known of Woods’ reported affairs and may even have helped arrange liaisons.
Williams said he spoke regularly to Woods, who had admitted to him he had “a problem,” but the caddie did not elaborate on what his problem was.
He said he had no idea when Woods would return to the PGA Tour.
Woods announced on Friday he was taking indefinite leave from the Tour to focus on becoming “a better husband, father and person.”
“Tiger just said he needs a break and I don’t want to put any pressure on the guy,” Williams told the Sunday News.
“He will know in his mind, and his family will know in their mind, when it is the right time for him to return to playing golf.
“He will have the right people counseling him and between the people that counsel him, his wife and his immediate friends, when he is ready to come back he will be ready to come back.”
Williams sent his “heartfelt wishes” to Woods’ wife Elin Nordegren and said fallout from his revealed extramarital relationships had impacted on his own marriage and family. In a frank interview, Williams said he would quit working as a caddie if he was sacked by Woods.
He reacted angrily to comments by American sports columnist Rick Reilly, who said Woods should fire Williams as part of any attempt to repair his marriage.
“(Woods) needs to clean house,” Reilly wrote in his column in ESPN The Magazine.
“If he wants to keep his wife, he has to get a new agent, a new caddie and some new friends.
“It’s hard to believe all this went on without their help or knowledge. How can she see them as anything but enablers?”
Williams angrily denied any knowledge of Woods’ infidelities.
“What people fail to realize is I (just) work for Tiger Woods,” he said.
“I live in New Zealand, I travel to and from New Zealand to caddie for Tiger Woods. I am not with him 24/7.
“Whilst I am a very good friend of his … I don’t know what he does off the course. His indiscretions have probably been (when he wasn’t playing). When he is not competing, I am back in New Zealand. I have no knowledge of what he is doing.
“I am an honest person. I had no knowledge of what was going on (with Tiger). If I did, I would say I did.”
Williams said he would be ready to carry Woods’ bag whenever he chose to return to competitive golf.
“I have always stated that my last caddie job will be caddying for Tiger,” he said.
“I am committed to him. I understand he needs a break to sort his personal stuff out and I will be there for him when he wishes to return to play.”