You can say Steve Williams and Tiger Woods' relationship has had ample time to heal. But at the end of the day, there's still the fact that Adam Scott is leading Woods at a major championship after the first round of the 2012 British Open.
Woods, of course, ended his golfer-caddy relationship with Williams in July of 2011, eventually going with Joe LaCava. Williams found a job with Scott, and was quick to rub it in Woods' face when Scott won the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Williams told CBS Sports after the victory, via the National Post, "'I’ve caddied for 33 years—145 wins now—and that’s the best win I’ve ever had.'"
At an awards ceremony in November of that year, Williams went so far as to say, "'I wanted to shove it up that black arse----,'" via the Huffington Post.
Williams' comments created shock waves throughout the world. He later apologized, Woods backing him, but it brought far more attention to the split than there should have been.
I'm beyond believing that there is serious animosity between Woods and Williams now, but you have to believe that if Scott remains on top of the leaderboard through two or three rounds, it presents another distraction for Tiger, and that's the last thing he needs after bouncing back in 2012. Woods will have to field those questions—the type of questions he hates—and it has the potential to get into his head.
Woods still has the ability to win a major championship. He has three wins on the PGA Tour this year, and he shot a three-under-par 67 on Thursday to begin the British Open.
But Scott is the current leader, shooting a six-under-par 64 on Thursday, and his lead puts undue pressure on Woods. Woods cannot just brush his time with Williams off to the side—the good and the bad will always be remembered.
Whether Woods has improved his mental game these days will be rather clear by the end of the tournament.
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