On Wednesday it broke that Tiger Woods decided to part ways with his long time caddie and friend Steve Williams. Williams had been on the bag since 1999 for Woods and had been a part of 13 of Woods’s 14 Major wins.
Williams was more than just a guy who held Tiger’s bag, cleaned his clubs, and provided him with water or Gatorade. He was his best man at his wedding, and it seemed like the two had a legitimate friendship as well. What Woods is trying to accomplish with his divorce from Williams is unknown, but one can only conclude that it’s him cutting ties with the last person that was attached to his previous life.
The same life that took him to the top of the athlete popularity mountain and dropped him just as fast when it broke that he was having multiple affairs with his wife. Woods would go on to be dropped from multiple key-note sponsors, file for divorce, and part ways with his swing coach Hank Haney.
Williams was the only constant in Woods’s life and they stuck by each others sides, even though Williams admittedly caught a lot of criticism from his own family for staying with the immoral Woods. But that’s what real friends do. They stick with you when the times are the toughest, and that’s how Williams viewed his relationship with Tiger.
However, with this move, Tiger is officially on his own with no one guarding his back.
Sometimes we all need our own space to ponder life’s happenings over and decide what our next move will be. After all, all of Tiger’s success came from being the best at a sport that really relies on yourself. There are no teammates or coaches to pick you up in golf. It’s just you, the ball, your clubs, and the course. You bask in all of the glory when you win, however, you suffer all of the consequences and criticisms when you lose or don’t perform up to your standards.
That is the beauty and the burden in the sport of golf.
Some have rumored that Woods took exception to Williams caddying Adam Scott in two recent tournaments, even though Woods gave Williams the approval to do so. After all, Williams has to go out and make a paycheck for himself. It’s not like Woods was playing in those tournaments when he was laid up on a couch with an injury.
However, maybe Woods did take offense to that move by Williams. Sure, Woods gave him the consent, but it might have been a hollow one. The same way your wife or girlfriend says that it’s okay for you to leave her alone while you go out for a night with your friends. Little do you know, you wake up the next morning and she’s furious that you left her alone with the dog all night, even though she gave you the green light.
I’ve been on record saying that Woods will never sniff the accomplishments and success that he witnessed earlier in the decade. That’s not to say that he’ll never win another major, but Tiger Woods the golf god will cease to exist. Golf, more than any other sport, is mental and I personally don’t think that Woods has that mentality anymore. It’s about having the indomitable will and power-presence that you can propel upon others as they watch you in awe.
Nobody on tour fears Tiger anymore because they realize that he is broken and tarnished, and his latest move in releasing Williams supports that.
Where Woods goes from here is up to him, but one thing’s for sure: he will be doing it all alone without any support system, with no father, no wife, and no longer a best friend.
But perhaps that’s the way he wants it.