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Koelble: Williams is the 'i' in caddie

August 08, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Tim Koelble
Tim Koelble

I was impressed with Steve Williams when he caddied for Tiger Woods.

He went about his business doing exactly what he was supposed to do.

Carry the bag, hand the golfer his club of choice, make a suggestion if asked, help line up a putt when asked, clean the ball and clubs — all simple tasks at hand for a caddie.

And Williams was paid handsomely by his boss. After all, 10 percent of Woods’ winnings was nothing to sneeze at, let alone the endorsements Williams himself was reaping in his native New Zealand.

Williams caddied for Woods for about 12 years and was on the bag for 13 major wins — wins by Woods.

While Woods was injured, Williams began to work for Adam Scott. During that time, Woods decided to make a change. He let Williams go, and now we are saddled with different sides of the story.

I really don’t care what happened, how it happened or when it happened. The fact is Williams is no longer with Woods and is now Scott’s full-time caddie.

For some reason, during Sunday’s final round of the Bridgestone, it was apparent the fans in the galleries were giving Williams plenty of admiration. It seemed as though they were forgetting about the man who was in control and about to win the tournament, and a big one at that.

When Scott got to the 18th hole and made a 5-foot birdie putt to put a convincing stamp on the win, it looked and sounded like the gallery was cheering for Williams. They forgot about Scott.

Then there was David Feherty, clamoring all over Williams in an interview.

In the end, it was that interview that should be the undoing of Steve Williams.

“I’ve been caddying for 33 years and this is the best week of my life,” Williams said to Feherty. “No joking, the best week of my life.”

Here is a man who has caddied not only for Woods, but for Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd, among others.

He also took the opportunity to gloat about being a front-runner, about being a world-class moonlighter as a race car driver. He didn’t forget to mention 145 wins as a caddie.

On top of everything, not once did I hear him mention anything about the performance of his new boss, Mr. Scott, or express thanks for the opportunity to continue as a caddie for a world-class golfer. Nope, he took in everything for himself.

Sure, Williams might have had some steadying influence on Scott, who won his first title in a year.

But a caddie does not take the attention.

He did not make the golf swings.

On Sunday, a few moments listening to Steve Williams was enough for me to lose any respect for the man.

Certainly, he is an ‘I’ man.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7376 or koelble@herald-mail.com.

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