With a marquee pairing bringing them together this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, it appears the once-icy rift between Tiger Woods and his former caddie, Steve Williams, is a thing of the past.
“There’s an old saying that time heals all wounds,” Williams noted according to a Fox Sports report. “It’s been a couple of years and, as I said, time has a way of healing.”
After working together for 13 of Woods’ 14 career major wins, Williams took the bag of Adam Scott while the current world No. 1 was sidelined with an injury during the 2011 season; shortly thereafter, the pair experienced an acrimonious breakup when Woods fired Williams at the AT&T National that summer.
Two years later, the New Zealander – who since has been on the bag for three PGA Tour wins with Scott, including the Masters this spring – still believes there was a better way to end their 12-year partnership.
“I was very hurt by what happened with Tiger. Hurt and very disappointed,” explained Williams. “I think it could have been handled differently.”
Nevertheless, the frosty relationship between the two thawed significantly this summer according to the report, first at the U.S. Open where Woods and Scott were grouped for the opening two rounds, then further at the British Open, where the pair played the final round together.
“At some point in time, I just felt we had to break the ice,” said Williams, who according to the report initiated a conversation with Woods during the final round at Muirfield. “He asked me how the family was, and I did the same. We just talked.”
This week in Boston, Williams and Woods will have ample opportunity for additional small talk, as the 14-time major winner and current FedEx Cup points leader will play the first two rounds alongside Scott and Phil Mickelson, who round out the top three in the current playoff standings. Despite the schism their breakup once created, Williams still holds his former boss in high esteem.
“Even with everything that happened, I still have the greatest respect for him,” he said of Woods. “He gave me the opportunity to caddie for the greatest player who’s ever played the game, and I’ll always appreciate that.”