Tiger Woods’ caddie for 13 years, Steve Williams, has penned a tell-all book. Out of the Rough hit the shelves this morning, and I’ve made my way through it and pulled out some of the juiciest morsels for your enjoyment.
Of course, there’s much more in the book, including humorous illuminations of the Woods-Garcia conflict and the Woods-Mickelson-Williams beef, so I suggest plunking down $14.38 for the Kindle edition.
Here are some of the best items.
Williams asked for Tiger’s autograph the first time he met him. He really did hang up on Tiger the first time Tiger asked him to be his caddie, thinking it was a friend prank-calling him. “I’ve just parted ways with my caddy and I want to know if you’d like to come caddy for me,” Tiger asked him.
“Can you wait a minute? I’ve just got something I need to finish.” Woods greeted Wiliams at the door of his Orlando home, but made him wait while he intently finished up a video game. Woods was so focused it was as if he were in a “trance.”
Williams acknowledges Woods’ chief swing flaw throughout his career was getting “stuck,” which often resulted in the big block to the right.
Williams thoroughly dislikes Sergio Garcia, primarily because of his conduct at the 2012 Players Championship when Sergio was “loud, abusive, bad-tempered” and “threw his clubs.” He also dislikes Vijay Singh on account of the fact that the latter has never fessed up to his 1985 cheating incident.
Tiger avoided locker rooms and kept his gear in the trunk of his car, worried that someone would tamper with his putter.
“Tiger felt Butch was trading on his name, taking advantage of their association.” Instead of telling Harmon this, however, Woods merely iced his teacher out. Williams believes Tiger’s only hope of salvaging his career is returning to Harmon. Harmon would “make the rescue plan quicker than anyone else.”
Williams problem with Phil Mickelson: “He thinks he knows everything. He lords over people.”
Woods’ desire to quit golf and join the Navy SEALs surfaced early in the 2000s. “I’ve had enough of golf,” he told Williams. “I’d really like to try to be a Navy SEAL.” His love for the SEALs manifested as an almost “god-like adoration,” according to Williams. The obsession is the route of his muscle-building focus in the gym and, which has contributed to Woods’ many injuries, in Williams’ mind.
Williams once let Kevin Na have it over slow play saying “You’re the most inconsiderate player I’ve ever met in my life.”
Williams maintains he had no knowledge of Woods’ illicit activities. “Only a handful of his oldest buddies actually had any idea this was going on. I didn’t know because Tiger didn’t dare tell me….he knew my values and that I would have zero tolerance…that would be the end of us.”
Williams “repeatedly asked for Tiger’s management to release a statement that would clear me of any involvement.” They wouldn’t. And neither Woods nor Steinberg nor “his lackeys” kept Williams in the loop as the scandal was developing.
Woods finally contacted Williams and was “open, honest and remorseful.” Williams says he had “no sympathy” for Woods, although he appreciated the call and set up a face-to-face to further clear the air. In this meeting, Williams let Woods know he was furious about being “dragged through the wringer” and was angry about the scandal’s impact on his family. He also indicated his furor with Team Woods for their “total lack of communication” and unwillingness to absolve him publicly. Williams asked Woods to behave better on course as well in his return.
As foolish as it may have been, I allowed myself, given his modified behavior and an OK game, to believe the old Tiger could genuinely change his stripes. That hope lasted 48 hours, before Mark Steinberg brought everything tumbling down again. We were walking from the media centre to the practice range when Steinberg told Tiger that if he wanted to win the tournament he had to ‘stop being a nice guy’ and go back to being his old self. I couldn’t believe my ears. After all that Tiger had been through, and the fact that he had made a public commitment to a less snarling and aggressive Tiger, that he’d promise me he would reform his bad habits, his main advisor was telling him the opposite. This was the moment in time when Tiger had a chance to turn his image around. It was the perfect opportunity to create a new Tiger — a fan-friendly Tiger who would sign more autographs, interact more openly with fans, be less surly with his rivals, more communicative with those around him — so to hear those words from Steinberg floored me. Right then, something inside me changed. A brick in the foundation of my relationship with Tiger had been prised loose. My immediate thought was, I’m not sure I’m going to be around much longer.
When Woods returned at the 2010 Masters, “people all over the world, including his rivals, had lost their respect for him, were no longer in awe of him.”
Team Woods flip-flopped about Williams caddying for Adam Scott while Tiger was out with injury. During the course of Mark Steinberg attempting to convince Williams not to carry Scott’s bag, Williams got a text from Steinberg that was meant for Woods saying “I’ve talked to Steve. I think I’ve persuaded him not to caddy for Adam.” Things then got “a little bit ugly,” and the partnership was dissolved via text message, although Woods would later say he and Williams parted ways face-to-face at the AT&T National.
“The way this circus played out, and the way he’d failed to live up to his promise to change his character, had diminished my respect for Tiger and undermined my enthusiasm for his goals and dreams. Yet I’d stood by out of loyalty…But when I asked for a show of loyalty from him, when I asked for him to do something for me as a friend—he let me down…There was nothing there. No support, no friendship.”
When Scott and Woods were paired together at the Open Championship at Muirfield, Williams attempted to make conversation with Woods, which was met with curt replies. When Woods didn’t open up or inquire about Williams’ own family he realized, “I had been excommunicated.” And that, “people he [Woods] once held dear were now nobodies…It was the first time in 36 years as a caddy that the end of professional relationship had spelled the end of a personal relationship.”
The final word on Steve and Tiger: Williams will never forgive Woods and his team for not “clearing his name” during the sex scandal. “The fact hat he couldn’t do that caused a lot of grief for my family and me,” Williams said. “That he couldn’t do that for someone who had been loyal to him for more than a decade…there’s something not right about that.”
Report: 2020 Open Championship set to be cancelled; R&A releases statement in response: “continuing to work through options”
This year’s Open Championship will be cancelled outright by the R&A due to the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from Golf Digest.
Per the report, an unnamed source has divulged to the publication that the championship will next take place in 2021 with St. Andrews hosting the event. Royal St. Georges, due to host the 2020 Open Championship, would instead host the 2024 edition.
According to Golf Digest’s source, insurance has played a pivotal role in the decision making. As with Wimbledon, the Open Championship has an insurance policy that protects itself against a global pandemic if the event is cancelled by a specific date.
On Wednesday, the R&A officially announced that the 41st Curtis Cup would be played in 2021 while the organization also moved the British Amateur and British Women’s Amateur from June to August.
Though unconfirmed, this would mark the first major championship of 2020 to be cancelled outright, with the Masters and PGA Championship having been officially postponed.
On Thursday morning, in light of the speculation surrounding this year’s Open Championship, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, released a statement where he said the R&A are “continuing to work through our options for The Open this year.”
“We are continuing to work through our options for The Open this year, including postponement. Due to a range of external factors, that process is taking some time to resolve. We are well aware of the importance of being able to give clear guidance to fans, players and everyone involved and are working to resolve this as soon as we can. We will give a further update as soon as we are in a position to do so and thank everyone for their support and understanding in this challenging situation.”
Report: Woods-Mickelson Part 2 likely to happen in May and will feature two other sporting superstars
Earlier this week, Phil Mickelson teased “The Match” Part 2 on his social media, and according to a report from CNBC the exhibition, though unconfirmed, is likely to take place in May and will include both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
On Monday evening, golf journalist Robert Lusetich stated that the potential “The Match” Part 2 would likely involve NFL legends, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in a two on two contest.
Now per CNBC’s report, who claim that “a person familiar with the negotiations” confirmed the story to them, the contest is organized by AT&T’s WarnerMedia and the PGA Tour, and would likely take place in May with the proceeds going towards coronavirus relief charities.
The report also claims the event would likely not be a pay-per-view contest, with plans also in place to feature big names throughout the PGA, NFL, and National Basketball Association.
Schedule postponements and cancellations on the PGA Tour, European Tour plus the four majors: What we know so far
With the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the PGA Tour and European Tour have taken steps to cancel or postpone several events. Action has also been taken on some of golf’s major championships, and here we’ll summarize what decisions have been made so far altering the 2020 calendar.
Both The Masters (April 9-12) and PGA Championship (May 14-17) have been officially postponed with hopes of rescheduling both events for later in the year. According to the NY Post, the US Open is also set to be postponed and rescheduled for “later in the summer”, though as of Tuesday, March 31 the USGA has made no formal announcement confirming this news.
The R&A has of yet made no announcement on this year’s Open Championship which is due to take place from 16-19 of July.
- April 9-12: The Masters – Postponed
- May 14-17: PGA Championship – Postponed
- June 18-21: US Open – NY Post reporting postponed; not yet confirmed by USGA
- July 16-19: Open Championship – On Schedule
Since cancelling the Players Championship mid-event, the PGA Tour decided to cancel several subsequent tournaments. As of now, the earliest return date for the PGA Tour is May 21 at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship which is played the same week as the WGC-Match Play was postponed with plans to reschedule the event.
- March 12-15: The Players Championship – Cancelled
- March 19-22: Valspar Championship – Cancelled
- April 16-19: RBC Heritage – Cancelled
- April 23-26: Zurich Classic of New Orleans – Cancelled
- April 30-May 3: Wells Fargo Championship – Cancelled
- May 7-10: AT&T Byron Nelson – Cancelled
Along with the cancelled WGC-Match Play and confirmed postponed major championships, the European Tour has postponed a further seven events. Unlike the PGA Tour, the European Tour has chosen to postpone almost every upcoming event for the time being instead of cancelling. The GolfSixes Cascais is the only confirmed cancellation as of now.
On Monday, the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open became the latest tournament to be postponed meaning the earliest possible return date for action on the European Tour is now June 4 at the Trophee Hassan II.
- March 12-15: Magical Kenya Open – Postponed
- March 19-22: Hero Indian Open – Postponed
- April 16-19: Maybank Championship – Postponed
- April 23-26: Volvo China Open – Postponed
- April 30-May 3: Andalucia Masters – Postponed
- May 9-10: GolfSixes Cascais – Cancelled
- May 21-24: Made in Denmark – Postponed
- May 28-31: Irish Open – Postponed
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