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Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament

Caddy Steve Williams gets the praise, rips Tiger

By Jonas Published: August 7, 2011

The chant was undeniable.

“Ste-vie Williams!”

“Ste-vie Williams!”

Tiger Wood’s former caddie is on a new bag now. And he was still winning titles at Firestone.

Australian Adam Scott, who hired Williams to be his new caddy after Woods fired him, won The World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational by four strokes Sunday.

While it was Scott, who played the golf, it was Williams who was besieged for interviews afterward.

And Williams, who spent 12 years on Woods’ bag, didn’t disappoint as he took plenty of shots at his former employer.

"I've been caddying for 33 years and 145 wins. This is the biggest win of my life," Williams said.

Let’s not forget he won 13 majors with Woods.

So what happened between them?

"have to ask him...I got shortshifted," Williams said. "I was very loyal to him."

He even pointed out Woods was incorrect when he told reporters he fired Williams at the AT&T National.

It didn’t happen at a PGA event, he said. Woods had called him on the phone.

“I was told on the phone we needed to take a break and, in caddie speak, that means you’re fired,” he said.

Here is the complete transcript of William's conference with reporters at the flash zone. Williams made the initial comment about caddying for 33 years and this is his greatest win when he was still on the 18th green and doing TV interviews, so it won't be included here.

Q. What does it mean to you?

Williams: I think it’s always – When you go to caddie for another player, it’s no different to when you start with a new player. The very most important thing is when you the first opportunity to have a win is to try and show them that you know what you’re doing. It’s easier said than done. I think it just validates what I told Adam and what we are trying to achieve. So getting the first win is very important. I think that takes a lot of pressure off going forward.

Q. The comfort level that you have with him now, do you feel like it’s a relationship that’s going to last a long time?

Williams: Why do you ask that? (Laughter)

I’m going to be straight-up honest. I’m on the downside of my caddying career. I live in New Zealand and I’ve been caddying for 33 years. I’d like to help Adam get across the line and try and win a major championship. That’s my goal with Adam, obviously, and when that point comes, I’ll decide from there, but I’m certainly on my downside. There’s no two ways about that.

Q: What intangibles do you bring to the job?

Williams: Obviously, it’s well documented I’ve won 145 golf tournaments. Every single guy that I’ve caddied, even guys that I’ve caddied for just here and there over the years, won tournaments. There’s no one I’ve caddied for that hasn’t won tournaments. So, I guess when I caddie for someone, its kind of a reassurance thing that Steve knows what it takes it get it done. Obviously, I am very confident, not only on the golf course, (but) when I race (too). I’ve always backed myself. I’m a very confident sort of person.

Q: What is it like with Adam going forward, the things that you need to bring to the relationship?

Williams: I think its really exciting. I was straight up with Adam when I had the opportunity to go and work for him. I stressed to him that if you want me to come and caddie for you full-time , you’ve got to sit down and do some hard work and do some hard yards because that’s what I expect. And I see some weaknesses in his game that need improving on, between him and his coach and myself, I’ve been very adamant.

Even though it’s only been three weeks, I’ve been pointing out the weaknesses and what he needs to work on. Players and caddies and, I’m not different from anyone else.

Q: Has it been difficult?

Williams: Fans have been unbelievable. It’s the greatest week of my life caddying and I sincerely mean that.

Q: What happened with Tiger?

Williams: You’ll have to ask Tiger that. I was absolutely shocked that I got the boot to be honest with you. I’ve caddied for the guy for 11 years, I’ve been incredibly loyal to the guy and I got short shifted. Very disappointed.

Q: How did it happen? How did you find out?

Williams: He just called me up and when I asked him to go and caddie for Adam, and he didn’t agree with it, and thought it was time for a break.

Q: Given what has happened with Tiger, how satisfying personally for you is this just to get back on the horse a little bit?

Williams: I mean, it’s the most satisfying win I’ve ever had, there’s no two ways about it. I’m not denying that.

Q: Do you see the game in Adam to win a major

Williams: I wouldn’t be caddying for him if I didn’t think so. These tournaments here are very high quality tournaments. This is a very difficult golf course, a very good golf course and it’s not that different from a major championship. If you can win a course like this, there’s nothing to say you can’t win a major. The challenge is what makes this job great. It’s the challenge of trying to win majors.

Q: What was it like walking down 16th, 17th, and 18th when you knew it was going to happen?

Williams: The last two years have been very difficult for myself and my family, and I sort of believe in destiny sometimes. I had no doubt in my mind this morning on the range, Adam had it so good on the range, I knew it was our day. He hit it is so good on the range.

Q: The conversation that you had, the phone call, was there consideration on your part; like did he say, if you do this, it’s over?

Williams: I was told on the phone that we need to take a break, and in caddie lingo, that means you’re fired. Simple as that.

Q: Simply because of Scott?

Williams: When you’re told as a caddie we need to take a break, you’re fired.

Q: Doesn’t he owe you more than just that?

Williams: hey, I mean, I see mechanics get fired on a race team, see mechanics get fired all the time. I got fired. Simple as that.

Q: The fist pump afte the final putt went in, was there a little extra emotion in that?

Williams: Absolutely (laughter)

Q: How much?

Williams: I mean, like I said, theres a lot of expectations on Adam, not just myself. I mean, its hard to explain., but he is under the pressure a little bit too, and to finish off on the last hole, It was kind of; I said, you’ve just got to take all the trouble out of play, hit a 5-wood down there to that 196 sprinkler and it was right on that sprinkler, hit a 6-iron in there, and that’s exactly what happened. It as kind of a scripted last hole.

Q: Have you and Adam ever talked about this nonsense four you and not him, and is he okay with the attention you’ve received?

Williams: Hey, I can’t help that. I mean, I love caddying. I do the job. I guess caddying for Tiger, I’ve probably been a bit unfair to the media sometimes. I realize I owe you guys something, so it’s no problem.

Q: The confidence that he felt from you, is it from just maybe what you said to him and could you sense that from him in the tournaments you’ve caddied for him?

Williams: Absolutely. He’s played well. He’s played some good golf. Its not easy out here on the PGA Tour. He had a third there at AT&T, he played well at the British and won here. That’s a good year for some people. I don’t think people realize just how difficult the PGA Tour is, and to get a win, any player to get a win out here, it’s a great effort.

Q: Are you flattered that people thnk you can ut Adam over the top?

Williams: Well, I mean, just because you’re a good caddie doesn’t mean to say that you’re the one that can put a player over the top. A good caddie doesn’t necessarily help – you’ve got to gel. That’s the first thing. You go and work for somebody, there’s no guarantees its going to work straight away., but sometimes you gel. I think the main thing for us is I’m a fanatical rugby supporter which is well documented, and Adam was in the all blacks today because we kicked the Aussie’s ass last night.

So you’ve got to gel first and do it, but, you know, I was fairly confident. Adam is obviously a friend of mine off the course. So I was fairly confident that we’d get along pretty good. It’s obviously like a dream come true.

Q: What did you think of those fans saying your name today?

Williams: Honestly, I said it was the greatest week of my life. The people here have been absolutely astounding. This is a tournament that I’ve been to I don’t know how many times. I caddied here with Greg, caddied here with Raymond, caddied here with Tiger; so I’ve been here a lot. And this is sort of a local town tournament so I would be willing to say 80, 90 percent of the people that attend this tournament come every year. So they know all the players, they know all the caddies, they know all the volunteers. It was just sensational.

Q: What about the deep friendship you had with Tiger. Did you discuss that on the phone call or take a break and that’s it?

Williams: That’s it, you’ve got it.

Q: Tiger said he did it in person at the AT&T National after the final round. Is that correct?

Williams: That is incorrect. I was told on the phone that we needed to take a break. At the AT&T the details of why I was fired were discussed, and that’s for my own personal stuff.

Q: When actually was the phone call then, was it when you initially wanted to caddie for Adam?

Williams: Correct. Correct.

Q: How would you compare Adam’s swing with Tiger’s swing in 2000?

Williams: I don’t really compare golf swings. I’m not a golf coach. Adam hit the ball tremendous this week, and he’s had some tremendous rounds in the four tournaments I’ve caddied for him, so I don’t compare.

Q: Kind of odd to become so popular and be carried around by the fans, you had to get fired? Now you’re a sympathetic figure.

Williams: hey, people are probably sympathetic to it. That’s a good point. People are sympathetic too it.

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