Tiger Woods won’t say as much, but he’s ticked at his ex-toter

Tiger Woods wasn't all smiles Wednesday. Here's an exception. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Tiger Woods wasn't all smiles Wednesday. Here's an exception. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Tiger Woods hasn’t been Tiger Woods lately, but nobody else has, either. The media vortex, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Which is why, in the absence of Tiger winning anything, we’ve latched onto the curious case of Tiger’s “winning” ex-caddie and rendered it Breaking News.

You know the story: Tiger fired Steve Williams, the caddie nobody much liked, and then Williams carried Adam Scott’s clubs as the player was winning last week’s Bridgestone Invitational. This prompted the bag-toter to go on TV and call it “the most satisfying win” of his career, which would have been akin to Yogi Berra shoving aside Don Larsen to proclaim what happened in the 1956 World Series “the greatest game I’ve ever caught.”

This week brings the PGA Championship in Johns Creek, and Woods briefed the assembled media Wednesday while working hard to say nothing about his ex-valet. But Tiger remains so measured in his words (if not his personal life) that what little he said resonated.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Tiger is ticked. (More than a few other golfers aren’t happy with Williams, either, and the toter himself made use of his website — that’s correct; a caddie has a website — to apologize Wednesday “for failing to mention Adam’s outstanding performance.”) Tiger Woods made Steve Williams so famous that people actually know who Steve Williams is, and now the valet scorned is using his improbable pulpit to crow.

Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, was seen speaking with Williams on Tuesday at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Asked about this, Woods said: “They talked, yeah. You’re right.” He didn’t say what was discussed. Three guesses, huh?

Woods admitted he sent Williams a congratulatory message last Sunday. (”A nice text,” Tiger said.) He also revealed the two had spoken since the the caddie trumpeted his famous “victory” but maintained, “That’s between Stevie [note the use of the diminutive] and myself.”

There was a time when a ticked Tiger would have stormed out and stacked two dozen birdies on a golf course’s noggin, but nobody’s sure if this Tiger — aged 35, coming off an infamous divorce and recovering from a bum knee and a sore Achilles, a winner of no majors since 2008 — is capable of putting his golf sticks where his snarl is.

Someone asked what his expectation for the PGA was. “A ‘W,’ ” Tiger said. Then, smiling: “Want me to elaborate? A nice ‘W.’ ”

Earlier, Rory McIlroy had offered his impression of the latter-day Tiger Woods. “He’s still the biggest attraction in the game, so that hasn’t changed,” said McIlroy, who led the Masters after three rounds and who won the U.S. Open going away. “The only thing that’s changed is that he just isn’t winning as much as he did back then.”

Then: “But that’s not to say that he won’t do it again. I don’t think it’s quite a new era yet until other guys start to win majors regularly like he did.”

And that’s the issue, not just with Tiger but with golf. Everyone’s wondering: If not Tiger, who? But there’s also an accompanying question: Are we absolutely sure it won’t be Tiger?

Speaking obliquely of the storm over Stevie, Tiger said: “All I can control is my life and how I feel.” For what it’s worth, he said he felt great physically, that he can walk a course without “having to block out pain.”

Realistically, you wouldn’t expect him to get his ‘W’ this weekend. He has played only one full tournament, that coming last week, since the Masters. But there were long moments Sunday at Augusta National when Tiger seemed destined to win the thing. (He finished fourth.) He might not have played like Tiger Woods in a while, but he’s still the only Tiger Woods in this or any field.

Tiger was asked Wednesday if, growing up, he pulled for underdogs or preferred seeing the big names win. To no one’s surprise, he said he was a fan of dynasties — Magic’s Lakers, Bird’s Celtics, Michael’s Bulls, Jeter’s Yankees. It’s possible the reign of the world’s only dynastic golfer is nearing its end, but the guess here is that Tiger Woods has a few majors left in his tank. The guess is that he’ll be winning long after we’ve forgotten whatever it was that Stevie Williams, whoever he is, happened to say.

By Mark Bradley

98 comments Add your comment

Outside Observer

August 10th, 2011
3:39 pm

Too much Tiger in the news. He is like Brett Favre, he won’t go away.

halligator

August 10th, 2011
3:48 pm

PMC

August 10th, 2011
3:50 pm

….Fooling around on the course, bad language, smoking grass, poor caddying….

If you want to be replaced with golf carts Steve keep it up.

Whopper Dawg

August 10th, 2011
4:10 pm

That much maligned caddie stuck by Tiger though all the muck. And then Tiger canned him when Tiger wasn’t even playing.

Tiger Woods proves over and over again that he has no class. None. Tiger has one person’s back, his own. Everyone else can fend for himself. I hope he gets it handed to him at the PGA.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot turned Running Back

August 10th, 2011
4:13 pm

I know what it’s like to be let go . . . but I have the satisfaction of coming back as mascot this year. When somebody lets you go they should be pretty sure they aren’t going to need you again. Coach Richt found himself with a dead mascot and that does not look good for the program. “Wake up, pooch.” It was not at all dignified.

Dee

August 10th, 2011
4:13 pm

cheap trash Tiger=Punk only trash would make a comment like that

Falcons4Eva

August 10th, 2011
4:20 pm

Mark Bradley, Shame on YOU.

“Not to put too fine a point on it, but Tiger is ticked.”

And exactly what evidence do you have to support such a statement? Really Mark. I noticed you really did not share any other statement of fact or evidence to support your claim that he is ticked. Please share with us and explain what it is in your article or your believe that would suggest that Tiger is ticked at his ex-toter” ?

Again, more media Hyperbole and Headline sensationalism than what the actual facts support. I’ve read Tiger’s comments, and seen his press conference. He’s taken the high rode in this matter but yet, you and your other cohort media clowns have to find ways to keep up MESS and Controversy.

I expected more from you Mr. Mark Bradley than I do D. Orlando Ledbetter. You are better than that.

Come on. Report on something more newsworthy about this years PGA Championship like____(fill in the blank).

techfan

August 10th, 2011
4:21 pm

Steve Williams could have easily said that he was very happy that Adam Scott won, and that it was a great feeling after all the recent events. Instead he chose to act like a child. If Tiger is upset with him, he has every right to be. Tiger was the bigger man in this situation.

hammerhead

August 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

“Russ” made me laugh out loud. This is much ado about nothing. I’m a golf fan first, and not necessarily a huge Tiger fan, but the game is MUCH more interesting with him involved. “Stevie” needs to remember the old golf adage for caddies – “Show up, keep up, shut up”.

JackDennis

August 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

2 turds in the punch bowl.

Ted Striker

August 10th, 2011
4:27 pm

Maybe a little bit of Tiger rubbed off on Williams after all.

Buckeye

August 10th, 2011
4:32 pm

I saw the live interview on Golf Channel. I’m just sorry the evening coverage will simply regurg ( as you have here MB) what he said and the tone with which he said it.

He did “elaborate” on subjects other than “W’s” including is desire to expand the TW Foundation in Asia for his Mother. He elaborated on the condition of the course and the Diamond Zoysia, the finishing holes and told a funny story about his out of shape caddy buddy with the ugly legs on the bag at the Amatuer.

Speaking of caddies, now Steve Scott’s was a cutie then and remains as such…..better legs than Bones, Stevie, Fluff and therest of the loopers.

I’ll root for Tiger to be in the hunt come Sunday afternoon. Love him, hate him, he’ll up the dramatics.

Buckeye

August 10th, 2011
4:35 pm

Hey Russ,

You’re going to morph into a droppy eared sour-faced saliva dripping Basset Hound once you’re 0-2!

honest_abe

August 10th, 2011
4:46 pm

steve williams is irrelevant. you carry someone’s golf clubs for a living. reality check. ping!

Stevereeno

August 10th, 2011
4:47 pm

Tiger is all over the news and he didn’t even say anything!!

Stevie looks like a big, multi million dollar cry baby!!

BFS

August 10th, 2011
4:50 pm

There’s another sport where the stars and former stars and their hangers-on spew BS at each other in an attempt to get attention…It’s called Professional Wrestling.

Tiger should know by now how to keep his mouth shut and let his clubs do the talking.

Buckeye

August 10th, 2011
4:51 pm

Man, I’m a pathetic loser troll.

murfdawg

August 10th, 2011
4:54 pm

Mark,
If your editor wrecked his car, had affairs with at least 13 women, got a divorce and decided NOT to pay you for 18 months, how would you feel? And all this time you could have been writing for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and getting a paycheck. Now you finally start working for the CPD and miraculously you and your paper win Best Sports Section in the country. What would your first column be? How wonderful the CPD is and what an honor is is to work for them?

Steve Williams was very faithful to Tiger during a stressful time that he did not create. I know he made a lot of money with TW, but how many people can go 18 months without a paycheck? Williams had his say and that is good. Let it go and move on.

Didn’t Tiger fire Fluff after he got an endorsement deal?

Fan of the Game

August 10th, 2011
4:58 pm

Tiger needs to shave and just play. I have never seen a caddie win a tournament. Way too much attention given to this.

The Ghost of Soupy Sales

August 10th, 2011
5:17 pm

I get the feeling a reality TV show is in the works.

tbone

August 10th, 2011
5:19 pm

So, Williams was on Adam Scott’s bag for The US Open and The Open and they didn’t win. When Adam Scott wins a major with Williams, let’s talk. I am going to need a victory a little more prestigious than the Brigdestone Invitational to even take the caddie or golfer seriously.

CC

August 10th, 2011
5:24 pm

I was out of the course today with my 9 -year old son. He loves Tiger and doesn’t understand what’s happened. Tiger was the only golfer I saw who didn’t acknowledge the fans or stop to sign anything. Not even a small tip of the cat. He doesn’t get it. My hope for him this weekend is a “big MC”.

Sensibility

August 10th, 2011
5:26 pm

I would love to see Tiger win. GO TIGER

[...] Tiger Woods won't say as much, but he's ticked at his ex-toterAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, was seen speaking with Williams on Tuesday at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Asked about this, Woods said: “They talked, yeah. You're right.” He didn't say what was discussed. Three guesses, huh? …At $ 25K a round it is hardly worth Tiger getting on the courseUSA Today (blog)Scott ready to let clubs do talking at PGASydney Morning HeraldScott Wants Clubs to Speak Louder Than Caddie at Golf's PGA ChampionshipBloombergReuters Canada -SI.com -Boston Globe (blog)all 1,313 news articles » [...]

june

August 10th, 2011
5:28 pm

Hey buddy just be strong you will succed an am for sure it will be all good some how things go wrong but i know that your doing good just keep up with your game

june

August 10th, 2011
5:28 pm

Go Tiger woods i know you do it

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 10th, 2011
5:29 pm

He did not come back to the pack, they came to him. It’s all about putting. When he gets on THAT roll, he wins tourny’s in his sleep.

Down in Albany

August 10th, 2011
5:33 pm

Who cares? Tiger again shows that he is faithful to no one except himself. I couldn’t care less if ever wins again.

worn out

August 10th, 2011
5:34 pm

Tiger has ran out of the hgh that had him all pumped up, now he’s getting man boobs and is hurt all the time…but that stuff don’t help an athlete does it?….. just saying…i hope the cheating bastard never wins another tournament…cheating on his wife and kids and cheating other golfers…so there!!!!!

Suwanee Joe

August 10th, 2011
5:36 pm

Thats odd CC Me and 2 other co workers was at the course and we all got sign gloves from Tiger .

JASon

August 10th, 2011
5:38 pm

“Tiger Woods won’t say as much…”

but that won’t stop you from putting the words in his mouth so you can get hits.

SAL

August 10th, 2011
5:39 pm

Is CMR still “studying football” as he promised??

worn out

August 10th, 2011
5:40 pm

He can’t get away with shooting up HGH, and can’t get away with cheating on his family… i guess he cheated on his caddy. I guess its tough when u have to play fair….

Worm

August 10th, 2011
5:41 pm

Tiger will NOT win on this course because he can’t hit his driver ANYWHERE near the fairway..Making the cut will be a good week..

Vanislefan

August 10th, 2011
5:45 pm

Its too bad that Tiger doesn’t display the kind of class that Arnold did when he played. Though Arnold was adored by everyone , including the media, he had/has a great kind of respect for the game- and the traditions of the game- he never came across as bigger than he was, and always had time for the fans, I never saw him spurn anyone and his aura will last for decades. I hope that Woods knows his place in history and , when its all over, be as revered as Arnold is, for all the right reasons.

Stop making sense

August 10th, 2011
5:47 pm

Rory McIlroy is beginning to remind of Charles Barkley. A little more on topic perhaps. Still, every week lots of quotes from him. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Scott

August 10th, 2011
5:49 pm

He’s always called him Stevie, you dolt.

dawg4u

August 10th, 2011
5:57 pm

I don’t know Mark – judging from the expression on Tiger’s face most of the time when I’m watching golf or interviews he looks like he’s ticked off at just about everybody most of the time. Swing coaches, caddies, wives etc!

B

August 10th, 2011
6:05 pm

I’m sorry, but Stevie has nothing to cry about, yeah, Tiger could have told him sooner, but I think Tiger was hoping to get back to the way things were, and I’m sure if they did, Stevie would still be his Caddie.
So Tiger told him a year or so too late, it you look at what that actually cost Stevie, what did it cost him 300k over the last 2 years. Tiger made him more than 300k more than every other caddie on the tour every year for the last 10 years. And, by letting him go he already made 1/2 that money back. If Stevie caddies for Tiger in this past tournament (assuming the same finish order), Tiger’s caddie gets 2900$, and Stevie gets 140,000$. So I think Stevie is going to be just fine…

Pompano

August 10th, 2011
6:07 pm

Tiger has purged himself of everyone around him with any integrity. Started with Hank Haney and ended with Steve.

I think Tiger’s coming off the juice as well and it’s effecting his play. No more ability to maintain the monster practice sessions like the past and those nagging injuries that seem to take longer to heal than normal. He looks like he’s lost some bulk in the last few months.

Kudos to Steve from everyone that’s ever been let go unjustly by a jerk boss!

redweather

August 10th, 2011
6:19 pm

Tiger won’t win this week because his putter won’t hold up on those greens. Come to think of it, not many putters will hold up on those greens. It could get ugly for everyone.

edso

August 10th, 2011
6:21 pm

I think it’s remarkable how a so called “Sports Writer” knows so little about the game of golf and how extremely relevant a caddie is to winning that he acts more like a gossip reporter than a sports writer. Give it up. Or ask TMZ for a job, because you don’t know what you are writing about.

SuperB

August 10th, 2011
6:33 pm

You are just like like the pansy-assed “athletes” on the PGA Tour. These guys are arrogant, spoiled rotten, and most of them would get their tails kicked in a powder puff football game. Woods fired an employee of 12 years for ………. (fill in the blank.) no reason. While it was his prerogative, if YOU got canned after 12 years like that you’d be a helluva lot more vocal than Steve Williams. Quit whining like Azinger and all the other wimps. And yes, I’d say that to his or your face!

Herb

August 10th, 2011
6:36 pm

So………. Tiger is ticked, who gives a rats petookie.Maybe be can get some sympathy from his ex wife.

maxman

August 10th, 2011
6:38 pm

tiger woods is a real ass no doubt,but so was jack nicklaus,who everybody thought was so nice,met him once was a complete jerk,would’nt shake hands or sign an autograph,hated the guy ever since what a phony

Tom

August 10th, 2011
6:39 pm

This “relationship” or whatever you want to call it, got way out of hand. Caddies are to carry clubs and provide some help. But since Tiger isn’t that nice of a guy and doesn’t have any friends, these 2 became very close. The guy was Tiger’s best man in his wedding. Does the dude not have any friends from college or something?

And I’m sure Mr. Williams got some of Tiger’s leftovers when he was clubbing it up. People say it was a business deal and to a certain extent it was. I think Stevie just got tired of the media hoopla and decided to go somewhere else. Tiger didn’t like it, so he fired him. Stevie should have been happy he was getting away from this guy. Nevertheless, they did have some good wins. So its wrong of Stevie to say that last week was the most valuable win of his career. That’s pretty low.

cwm

August 10th, 2011
6:40 pm

ALL OF YOU WHO BELIEVE THAT STEVIE W HAS NOT BEEN PAID FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS ARE CRAZY ……………..

Danny G

August 10th, 2011
6:40 pm

Tiger is not the best golfer anymore. No one cares who he is made with. No one wants to root for him anymore. No one should be reading this article. Let’s go forward in golf. Put Tiger on the shelf with Jack, Arnie, Ben, and all of the other great golfers that are either dead or past their prime. Onward!

Tom

August 10th, 2011
6:43 pm

Quite frankly I’m tired of the golf world revolving around Tiger. He acts like a baby when he faces adversity. He is also the cockiest athlete besides Cam Newton I’ve ever seen. The media and the spectators have made this guy bigger than he should have been.

Phil and many others have way more class than Tiger will ever have. Golf is a gentleman’s game.

Big Ott

August 10th, 2011
6:52 pm

Tiger can’t control his rage, eh?

Gee, I thought that was only a stereotype.