Tiger Woods' Ex-Caddie Steve Williams: Masters Win 'Re-Energizes' Sport

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2019

Caddie Steve Williams, left, and Tiger Woods discuss his shot during before teeing off on the second hole during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, March 24, 2011.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters wasn't just a big moment for Woods himself. According to his former caddie Steve Williams, the latest victory can help provide a jolt to the sport as a whole. 

"Now that Tiger has come right back there again, winning a major championship, possibly putting Jack's (Nicklaus) record in play again ... it just re-energizes the game," Williams said, per Bob Harig of ESPN.

"It's absolutely awesome," he added. "He's the only guy who can energize the game like that. All those kids who were watching had to think it was fantastic. And so what he's done is a remarkable achievement. It's so positive."

Williams served as Woods' caddie from 1999-2011, holding the bag for 13 of the player's 15 career major titles.

While the 55-year-old served as caddie for Adam Scott a short time after, helping the Australian to the 2013 Masters title, he stopped working full time in 2017.

As Williams explained, he has mostly stopped watching the PGA Tour but tuned in to see Woods win the Masters earlier this month.

This was the case for a lot of casual golf fans, which led to the highest-rated morning golf broadcast in 34 years for CBS, according to Gabrielle McMillen of Sporting News.

Richard Deitsch of The Athletic broke down the impact Woods has on the television audience:

Richard Deitsch @richarddeitsch

There is no athlete in the United States who drives TV ratings for his or her sport more than Tiger Woods. A one-person economic stimulus. https://t.co/hVXjFAEtK4

Even with other young stars across the sport like Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, Woods alone has the power to bring in fans at a high level.

As Williams explained, this could continue to energize golf if he can continue his strong play in the coming year.

Woods is now three majors short of Jack Nicklaus' career record of 18 titles, while one more win in any tournament will match Sam Snead for the all-time record of 82.

We haven't seen the superstar at his best in more than a decade, but fans will return to the sport with a familiar name on top of the leaderboards.


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