Steve Williams' name has never been far from the headlines, but following this week at Augusta National, his name is back in the headlines for all the right reasons.
Williams perfectly caddied Australian Adam Scott to his inaugural victory at the Masters—the first ever Australian to win the Masters. And whilst the win may not rival any of the wins at Augusta that he shared with Tiger Woods during their time together, the tournament victory is a big step for Williams' career.
If only for the fact that the drama surrounding him can now come to a close on a positive note, rather than the many dark spots throughout his caddying career.
Williams achieved great success throughout the years he had with Tiger Woods—caddying for the greatest player in the world since 1999.
Yet it was always his comments away from the green that caused the biggest notoriety surrounding Williams, with incidents throughout the latter part of his tenure with Woods likely bringing about an end to their relationship.
In 2002, he put a camera into a pond after it took a photo of Woods mid-swing. In 2004, he had further run-ins with photographers and fans alike (per ESPN).
Perhaps a defining moment in the drama around Williams came in 2008, when he famously called legendary golfer Phil Mickelson a p***k. And unable to leave it there, he then followed that up with comments about why he disliked him (per NBC Sports).
“I don’t deny that him and I don’t get along,” Williams told The Associated Press from his home in New Zealand. “I shouldn’t have said it, but no harm was meant. I was just having some fun.”
That then prompted Mickelson to fire back immediately with a shot of his own—saying that "after seeing Steve Williams’ comments, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones (Jim Mackay) on my bag and representing me."
Tiger Woods would try to smooth things over with the pair and the media, but the tensions were already starting to appear—tensions that ultimately would lead to the current World No. 1 getting rid of the New Zealander in 2011 with a quick "thanks... but I think it's time for a change."
Not-so-surprisingly, that didn't go down well with Williams, who was quick to express his surprise and disappointment in Woods for what had taken place.
"Given the circumstances of the past 18 months working through Tiger's scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change and Tiger battling through injuries, I am very disappointed to end our very successful partnership at this time..."
After his "break-up" with Woods, Williams went on to caddy for Australian Adam Scott, where he again found himself in the middle of a media storm.
After Scott had triumphed at the 2011 Bridgestone Invitational, Williams famously retorted that he'd "caddied for 33 years—145 wins now—and that’s the best win I’ve ever had"—making a not-so-subtle shot at his former boss and their time together.
Yet now, with Scott triumphing at the 2013 Masters, Williams can put all of that behind him—closing the book on what was a very drama-filled few years.
The veteran caddy was superb over the final few holes, composing Scott and talking him through every single shot. Which, whether you think Williams is obnoxious or not, right or wrong, was a delight to see as he guided an entire country to its first ever Masters victory.
You could see from his emotion at the end that this win meant a lot.
Definitely for Scott, who was agonizingly close to success at Augusta in 2011, but also knowing that now, there's a good-news story with his name in it.
There haven't too many good-news stories over the past few years from Williams. Granted there's been a lot of stories, but not too many where he's emerged with a smile. Which makes this week all the more special for Williams, for he can now finally start to separate himself from the drama and stigma surrounding he and Tiger Woods and all that their past has included.
After all, Williams is a Masters winner. Again.
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