The dust has settled on all this Tiger Woods-Steve Williams mess, and like that greasy breakfast post hangover, things are starting to make a little more sense now, but I just figured it was worth pointing out that no matter what you think of the situation, Williams has every right to be upset.
ESPN's Colin Cowherd made a point that Tiger put Steve and his family in another tax bracket with all the money he gave him, but I feel like that's a little unfair to the art of the caddie. Williams is one of the best in the world. He's caddied for Peter Thomson (Ed. Note: So have I! Well, for one round at St. Andrews, but still.), Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd before taking the strap of Mr. Woods' bag. He is world renowned for his ability to read his player, handle certain situations, and shake off the nerves that accompany a golfer and his companion. It might not seem like a hard job, but being a caddie is some of the toughest work I've ever encountered. It's grueling on the body (remember, you're carrying that bag for nearly six days a week, not just the four days of tournament play), and you have to be completely comfortable with yourself and your player to totally execute properly. One mistake and you might get blamed, but both you and the golfer have to understand that you'll make the occasional bad call just like they'll hit the occasional bad golf shot. Nobody is perfect, but Williams was damn near it.
I think that one of the biggest problems with TIger Woods is his inability to comprehend loyalty. It's like he's always thinking people are feeding off him, even when they aren't. Tiger took it as a dig that Williams would loop for Adam Scott, even when he gave him the okay, and that just isn't the case. Even with all the money Stevie has made working with Tiger, the bills keep coming even when the checks aren't.
I've always respected Steve Williams. He kept his mouth shut on everything, and considering the close group Tiger keeps, that's pretty hard to come by. He never slandered his name during the entire Escaladegate, and he stood by his boss when every female east of the Mississippi came out and said they'd seen all of Mr. Woods.
A lot of caddies wouldn't have done that. They would have seen the easy payout by coming forward and giving exclusive interviews, and done that. Most humans aren't loyal. We live in a world where the moment you hear something secretive, you're thinking of who will be the first you want to tell, and for Tiger to find someone as genuinely supportive as Williams for 12 or so years is rare air.
I understand that Williams is upset by what transpired. While it might not have been totally surprising, it did seem a little lame the way Tiger went about it. Wait until the year ends and give a proper goodbye. Give Stevie a shot when you're actually 100 percent, because for a while, you two were unstoppable. But most of all, treating your friend with disrespect is one of the worst traits a human can have.
I feel bad for Tiger. I just don't understand where he's heading, and what he wants. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't know either.