Despite the nightmare that Tiger Woods has found himself unable to wake up from this year, the world's number one golfer has no plans to replace his long-time caddie Steve Williams. At least, that's what Williams believes.
Talking with New Zealand radio a few days ago Williams expressed a feeling of security in his job.
"I'm sure that if there was going to be some sort of parting of the ways, I'd be the first to know," Williams said. "From my point of view, I don't see that happening."
The media has spent the year speculating on possible replacements for Tiger's long-time caddie, but Williams believes there will be no change.
"I'm fully supportive of the guy and he's been great through this whole situation with me, "Williams said.
A few months ago I wrote that Woods would be better off with someone new on the bag. A change, simply for the sake of change and association, was what Tiger needed.
However, despite the less than stellar last few months, I have to say I've changed my tune. Tiger has endured the worst stretch of golf in his professional life and saw his image sink to an unfathomable new low. Yet, despite that, Tiger has survived, and he is still out there fighting to repair his golf game. He has weathered the worst, and the time when a caddie change may have helped him has long past.
Williams and Woods have been one of the most successful golfer—caddie pairings in the history of the game. A change now, at this point, would most likely be counter productive. If Tiger had any thoughts or plans of replacing Stevie, that time is over.
On the coach rumors swirling with Sean Foley, Woods should definitely act sooner than later. Even Williams agreed.
"He hasn't decided if that's the coach that is going to be with him," Williams said, "but I really like what this new guy had to say and what his theories are. If Tiger decides to stick with Sean, I believe he'll get better. It might take a little while."
Tiger, working with Foley during the week of the PGA Championship, was able to improve from the worst finish of his professional career the week before to a 28th place finish at Whistling Straits.
Not exactly winning, but certainly a step in the right direction. If Tiger is buying into Foley's theories at all, he should take the leap and add the 35 year-old Canadian teacher to his team.
By working with Foley at all Tiger has shown us he is ready to abandon the concepts of his previous coach Hank Haney, whom he split with earlier in the year.
Foley's current clients include Justin Rose, Sean O'Hair, Hunter Mahan, and Stephen Ames. The first three names on that list have each had an exceptional 2010.
After the fourth round of the PGA Championship and his 28th place finish, Woods was asked what he thought of working with Foley for the week.
"I like some of the things he had to say about my golf swing and where I needed to go," Woods said. "I like the direction because I was able to hit some of the shots I used to be able to hit feel-wise. When you get that kind of contact again, it's good. As far as working down the road, I'm sure I'm going to him a little bit more. I still want to pick his brain. I don't really have all of his whole concept yet. But I would like to get to know him more before I fully get into it."
Foley himself had this to say on after the PGA Championship: "I want to get Tiger back to a place physically that he has been before, but with new understanding. If he had understood what was so good about what he did before, he wouldn't have changed it. At the same time, I want to give him a better awareness of what he is doing now. The reason he has been hitting it where he has is that he didn't understand. As good as he is, as much work as he put in, the stuff he was working on couldn't have been right, or it would have worked better."
No shortage of confidence or assertiveness from Foley. This is exactly what Tiger needs. But Tiger does need to buy into it, thus the "getting to know him better" that Tiger mentioned regarding Foley should happen sooner instead of later.
Perhaps caddie Steve Williams said it best: "Tiger knows how to win and people know that he knows how to win. When he gets back into the situation where he's playing well again and he's in contention to win, he'll get the job done."
Here's guessing when the that winning does start happening again Williams will be on the bag and Foley will be the coach.