AKRON, Ohio (Reuters) - While Adam Scott celebrated the biggest victory of his career at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, his caddie Steve Williams took a few verbal jabs at his former employer Tiger Woods.
New Zealander Williams described Australian Scott’s four-shot victory at Firestone Country Club as the “most satisfying” of his career, despite having previously won 13 majors in tandem with Woods.
Williams also took issue with the manner of his firing by Woods on July 3, saying the split had been conducted over the phone and not face-to-face as his former employer has said.
“It’s the most satisfying win I’ve ever had, there’s no two ways about it,” Williams told reporters after Scott had clinched his first World Golf Championships (WGC) title with a flawless five-under-par 65.
“The fans have been unbelievable. It’s the greatest week of my life caddying and I sincerely mean that.”
Williams, who has previously caddied for topline players including Australian Greg Norman and American Raymond Floyd, was stunned when Woods abruptly decided to end a highly successful relationship dating back to 1999.
The New Zealander was axed after the AT&T National at Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, although the split was not made public until after the July 14-17 British Open to limit any distraction for Scott.
Williams later broke his own silence in an interview with New Zealand television, saying he was “very disappointed” and felt he had wasted two years of his life with Woods having been sidelined for long stretches by leg injuries.
“I was absolutely shocked that I got the boot to be honest with you,” Williams, 47, said on Sunday. “I’ve caddied for the guy for 12 years, I’ve been incredibly loyal to the guy and I got short-shifted.”
During the build-up to this week’s event at Firestone, Woods explained during a news conference how he had parted company with Williams.
“We had a nice conversation,” the 14-times major winner said. “We did it after he completed play at AT&T National up in the boardroom. It was a tough conversation but we said what we needed to say to each other face-to-face and man-to-man.”
Williams, who has now been on Scott’s bag for four tournaments in a row, disagreed.
“I was told on the phone that we need to take a break and, in caddie lingo, that means you’re fired, simple as that,” he said.
“At the AT&T the details of why I was fired were discussed, and that’s for my own personal stuff.”
As Scott flawlessly played his way to a commanding victory on a hot afternoon at Firestone, Williams received almost as many cheers from the fans as his new employer.
”The people here have been absolutely astounding,“ Williams said. ”This is a tournament that I’ve been to I don’t know how many times.
”I caddied here for Greg, caddied here for Raymond, caddied here for Tiger, so I’ve been here a lot. This is a local town tournament and I would be willing to say 80, 90 percent of the people that attend this tournament come every year.
“They know all the players, they know all the caddies, they know all the volunteers. It was just sensational.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury