Woods v. Williams: The case reeks of irony

By Jason SobelJuly 21, 2011, 8:01 pm

Whether you side with Tiger Woods, Steve Williams or don’t have a cat in the fight in the increasingly curious case of “Player v. Caddie,” you can admit the following reeks of irony.

Woods divorced from Williams only after the caddie wasn't faithful to him and started seeing another player.

Here’s everything we know about what went down: When Woods announced that he wouldn’t be competing in the U.S. Open, Adam Scott – who had recently fired his caddie, Tony Navarro – asked Williams if he would temporarily serve in the role for him. The looper received his boss’ permission and was on the bag at Congressional, where Scott missed the cut.

Two weeks later, Williams again caddied for Scott at the AT&T National, helping the player to a T-3 result before Woods summarily dismissed him from his day job on Sunday of that week.

At some point in between those two events, Tiger’s blessing turned into a curse for the man he calls Stevie.

Now that it’s over, the breakup is newsworthy for a few reasons.

First and foremost, although such records aren’t kept, this was likely the game’s most successful caddie – in both major championship victories and money earned – getting the axe. Williams was on the bag for 13 of Woods’ 14 major wins and pocketed enough over the years that he was able to donate $1 million to charity three years ago.

What tugs at the heartstrings of gossip columnists, though, is the fact that the two men became very good friends during the course of their working relationship, with Woods even serving as best man in Williams’ wedding. The caddie remained with his player not only through injuries and swing changes, but a highly publicized personal scandal, as well.

And that’s what irks Williams the most in the aftermath of this decision.

“To be let go after a period where I’ve stuck through thick and thin, and I’ve been incredibly loyal to the guy, that’s what I find disappointing,” he told New Zealand’s TV3 News on Wednesday. “You’ve got to gain someone’s respect and what Tiger went through at the completion of 2009, I told him when I first met up with him again in 2010 at Augusta that he had to earn my respect back. He was aware of that and he would know right now that I’ve lost a tremendous amount of respect for him. Through time, I hope that he can gain my respect back.

“I’m not disappointed in the fact that I got fired; I’m just disappointed in the timing of it given the fact that I’ve been loyal to him. Obviously, that loyalty didn’t mean much to him.”

The situation preys on the old bagman axiom amongst the professional ranks: There are two types of caddies – those who have just been fired and those who are about to be fired.

Williams, who caddied for the likes of Peter Thomson, Ian Baker-Finch, Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd prior to Woods, knows that as well as anybody.

“It’s always inevitable,” he explained, “but I was disappointed.”

Getty Images

Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

"I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

"I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

"Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

Getty Images

Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

Getty Images

McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

Getty Images

Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.