WELLINGTON, USA, July 22 – Tiger Woods’ sacked caddie Steve Williams said he had lost respect for the former world number one and felt he had wasted two years of his life loyally standing by the scandal-plagued golfer.
Woods announced this week that he has parted company with New Zealander Williams, his bag man for 12 years — a period when Woods won 13 of his 14 majors.
Williams said on Friday his sacking was poor reward for staying loyal to Woods after the golfer’s November 2009 car crash which opened the door to revelations about his extra-marital affairs and triggered a slide down the world rankings.
“Realistically, I could look back and say I’ve wasted the last two years of my life because he’s played infrequently, he’s been injured and he’s played poorly,” Williams told the New Zealand Herald.
“I was prepared to hang in there through thick and thin, so I found the timing extraordinary.”
Williams said he told Woods after the 2009 scandal broke that he had lost respect for the golfer and that it needed to be earned back.
But he said his opinion of Woods had sunk further following his dismissal.
“Whatever respect he may have earned back, he’s just lost,” he told the newspaper.
In a statement released Wednesday on his official website, Wodds hailed Williams as “an outstanding caddie and a friend” but added “it’s time for a change”.
Williams told the New Zealand Herald that he had “no idea” about Woods’ infidelities before the scandal erupted but stayed with him even though his wife was a close friend of the golfer’s spouse Erin, who divorced him in 2010.
He described the fallout from the scandal, which sparked a worldwide media frenzy as lurid details of Woods’ private life emerged, as the most difficult of his life.
“I’m a stickler for loyalty, I stuck with Tiger through a difficult period when a lot of people thought I should have left his side when things weren’t going as they should have been going,” he told TVNZ late Thursday.
“I’m not disappointed in the fact that I’ve got fired, I’m just disappointed in the timing of it, given how loyal I’ve been to him. That obviously didn’t mean much to him.”
Williams said he was looking forward to permanently working with Australian Adam Scott, for whom he has caddied on a part-time basis this year as an injured left leg kept Woods out of the sport.
“I’m excited about it, the last few weeks carrying with Adam has kind of opened my eyes a little bit,” he said.