Steve Williams – It was like I was his slave

GOLF: US Open-Playoff Round

Published yesterday, Out Of The Rough is Tiger Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams’ account of their relationship. This lasted 11 years, saw Tiger win 13 majors and Williams net approximately $10 million dollars of the $88 million that Woods won during this period.

From the excerpts I have seen in the New Zealand Sunday tabloid the Star Times it’s also telling us nothing really new and is an outlet for Williams to splurge his hurt feelings and disengage himself once again from the scandal of six years ago, which he recounts in laborious detail.

“It was like I was his slave” is cleverly inserted to grab headlines. It draws attention again to the fact that Woods is black. In context all it refers to is a club tossing incident that Williams took humbrage to. Well, many professional golfers can be club tossers, it’s nothing unique to Tiger Woods, and yet Williams felt belittled and embarassed by such behaviour.It’s also not the first time that Steve Williams has made remarks about race. This month four years ago Williams was named Caddie of the Year for his work with Adam Scott and he said then he wanted to shove the award up Tiger’s black backside.

As a partnership they were sometimes an angry team. Williams would get annoyed and shouty at galleries and abuse photographers so he isn’t a saint himself. His main beef appears to be how he was treated by the team around Woods when the news around Tiger’s infidelities broke. After Tiger left the 2009 Australian Masters, which he won, in a great hurry, Williams was texted by agent Mark Steinberg that a”story with absolutely no truth in it” was about to break. Don’t speak to anyone. From then onward he wasn’t spoken to for four months. Yes, probably for legal reasons and possibly because he could have made a lot of money talking to the press about it all. Williams to this day denies any knowledge about the infidelities, and yet he says he suffered personal abuse from the media and public because of it.

Whilst I can understand his need to put the record straight and completely detach himself from what Tiger was doing, it is Williams admission that he felt “angry, frustrated and hung out to dry” that is at the core of this book. It all comes across as being a bit precious. This was a uniquely difficult situation to have found himself embroiled in by association. He should have done what many sponsors did and cut and run. But instead he stayed around in the situation another two years only to sling the mud after he moved jobs. There’s nothing new to be learnt from this sorry tale other than to read of Williams hurt. I would have preferred to have read about the good times, of which there were many by Tiger’s side. In his prime he was the most magnificent athlete, and it is that time that interests me the most, rather than this sorry tale of woe.

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