WASHINGTON, USA, July 21 – Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods announced he has parted company with his long-standing caddie Steve Williams after working together since March 1999.
Woods, a 14-time Major winner who is currently out of the sport with an injured left leg, made the announcement on his official website.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it’s time for a change,” said Woods on his personal website.
“Stevie is an outstanding caddie and a friend and has been instrumental in many of my accomplishments. I wish him great success in the future.”
The 35-year-old added that he has not yet decided on a replacement as he continues his recovery from his injuries and has not made a decision on when to return to the PGA Tour.
Woods missed the British Open at Sandwich last week with knee and Achilles injuries having also missed the US Open last month.
Williams posted a statement on his website confirming the split, indicating Woods had in fact told him after the AT&T National that he wanted to make a change.
“Following the completion of the AT&T National I am no longer caddying for Tiger after he informed me that he needed to make a change,” said Williams, who caddied for Australian Adam Scott at the AT&T National, which ended on July 3.
“Needless to say this came as a shock,” Williams said. “Given the circumstances of the past 18 months working through Tiger’s scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change and Tiger battling through injuries I am very disappointed to end our very successful partnership at this time.”
Williams has worked three straight tournaments with Scott — the US Open in June, the AT&T National and then this month’s British Open.
He said on his website that he would continue to caddie for Scott “on a permanent basis”.
After carrying the bag for Australians Peter Thompson and Greg Norman earlier in his career, he said he was “excited about the future working for another Australian”.
With Williams as his caddie, Woods won 13 major championships and 63 US PGA Tour titles.
In addition to their professional relationship the two have been good friends.
However, there have been signs of strain in the partnership since Woods’ November 2009 car crash opened the door to revelations of the golfer’s extra-marital affairs, a scandal that eventually ended with Woods’ divorce.