It was once a popular bit of trivia that Steve Williams was the highest paid sportsman from New Zealand. That was before 2010 when he was sacked by Tiger Woods, a man he would subsequently refer to as that 'black arsehole'.
He moved on to Adam Scott's bag, suffering a 75% pay cut in the process.
As if the last few years haven't been trying enough for Tiger, Williams has just written an autobiography entitled 'Out of the Rough' (quite frankly, we're amazed that title wasn't already used for a previous golf autobiography).
In the book, Williams is at pains to profess his ignorance of Woods's fondness for cocktail waitresses. And he writes that he found it hard to cope with the constant innuendo painting him as an 'enabler' and an 'accomplice'. In spite of these pressures, he was determined to 'stick by' Woods - the caddying world's answer to Tammy Wynette.
The one question I'm now regularly landed with is: How could you not know about Tiger's multitude of mistresses? It's a valid question – it's one I would ask myself if a scandal of Tiger-like proportions happened to another caddy's boss. How could I spend so much time with him and not have an inkling this was going on? The answer, in a roundabout way, is that Elin didn't know either. 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.
Williams does record one incident in Melbourne one Sunday morning in 2009 in which the usually punctual Woods was fifteen minutes late emerging from his bedroom. Perturbed, Williams had gone up to see what was wrong. After banging on the door for a quarter of an hour, a host of Woods's friends walked out all dressed as about to hit the town. Woods's suite contained a number of bedrooms so there was enough space for them all to sleep. Woods was forced to alter his usual regime in order to reach the golf course in time. Williams found this weird.
It later emerged that Woods had spent the night with Rachel Uchitel, a nightclub hostess and a future reality TV star.
However, it was Tiger's on-course habits that bugged Williams the most. While he could live with the volatile temper, Williams was annoyed by Woods's disrespectful on-course manner.
But he had other bad habits that upset me. I wanted him to prove to me he could change his behaviour and show me – and the game of golf – more respect.
One thing that really pissed me off was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club – it was like I was his slave. The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt.
By 2011, Williams was no longer working with his slave master and not inclined to respond gracefully to his axing.
Following Adam Scott's first win with Williams in tow at the Bridgestone Invitational in 2011, his caddy rather hogged the limelight by celebrating with an excessive degree of wildness and announcing that is had been 'his aim to shove it up that black arsehole'.
He subsequently apologised for this outburst. Woods vouched for him and insisted he wasn't a racist.
[Sunday Star Times]