Ex-Caddie: Tiger Treated Me Like ‘a Slave’

Tiger Woods’s former caddie Steve Williams reveals that he felt like Woods’s “slave” in his new autobiography, Out of the Rough. 

In an excerpt that was released on Sunday evening, Williams, who reportedly made over $8 million and became a household name while caddying for Woods, wrote that the “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,” he wrote. “The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt. Tiger listened to what I had to say, the air was cleared and we got on with it – his goal was to be the best player in history and my goal was to keep working as best I could to help make that happen.”

Williams, who revealed that Woods and his team did not contact him for nearly four months in 2009-2010 after media outlets revealed Woods’s affair with Rachel Uchitel, said he never knew about Woods’s numerous affairs and mistresses.

“I didn’t know because Tiger didn’t dare tell me. We had such a strong bond and working relationship that there was no way he could let me in on what was happening – he knew my values and that I would have zero tolerance for that kind of behaviour,” he writes. “I would have told him straight away that I condemned that kind of activity and, unless he stopped, there would be no conversation – that would be the end of us.”

Williams also describes a November 15, 2009 incident in which Woods “seemed a bit preoccupied” and was uncharacteristically not punctual in leaving his hotel room before his tee time ahead of the final round of the Australian Masters:

I knocked on Tiger’s hotel room door as arranged.

It was Sunday, November 15, 2009 and we were in Melbourne. I was calling by to collect his gear ahead of the final round of the Australian Masters at Kingston Heath.

Whenever I stayed at the same hotel as Tiger, he would usually give me a key to his room and I’d let myself in to pick up his golf bag. On this trip, however, he brought a couple of old mates with him and I wasn’t given a key. So during the week, I’d normally knock on the door and walk in. But this Sunday morning the door was locked and my repeated knocks got no response.

‘Maybe he’s in the shower or on the phone,’ I thought, and waited a few minutes before knocking again. Still no answer.

After I’d been there 10 minutes I thought, ‘This is getting weird. There’s a chance we’ll be late to the golf course.’ Tiger was normally so punctual, I figured something must have changed his routine and wondered if he’d already gone downstairs without me.

‘Maybe he’s in the shower or on the phone,’ I thought, and waited a few minutes before knocking again. Still no answer.

After I’d been there 10 minutes I thought, ‘This is getting weird. There’s a chance we’ll be late to the golf course.’ Tiger was normally so punctual, I figured something must have changed his routine and wondered if he’d already gone downstairs without me.

Finally, after 15 minutes – which for Tiger is like being an hour late – the door opened and I immediately knew something was different. He had friends there but they were dressed as if they’d recently come in from a night on the town. Tiger had a suite with a number of bedrooms and there was more than enough room for them all to stay, but I thought it was odd that they’d elected to go out all night and then disturb Tiger in the early hours of the morning when he was due to play the final round of a tournament.

Tiger looked the same – I didn’t notice anything unusual about him – except he wasn’t ready to play golf and seemed a bit preoccupied. He told me there’d been a change of plan and he was packing up all his gear now and would be going straight to the airport from the golf course in a helicopter without calling back to the hotel to shower and change.

TMZ had previously reported that Bryon Bell, who is the president of Tiger Woods Design, purchased a plane ticket for Uchitel and flew with her to see Woods play in that 2009 Australian Masters tournament. Woods reportedly also paid for Uchitel’s room “at the Crown Towers Hotel in Melbourne — the same place Tiger was staying.”

Woods won 13 of his 14 majors with Williams on his bag. He has not won a major since he let Williams go after his long list of mistresses and affairs became public after his 2009 Thanksgiving weekend accident.


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