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Tiger Woods and longtime caddy Steve Williams part ways

Tiger Woods and Steve Williams enjoyed gargantuan success as a partnership, making their parting and futures that much more intriguing.
Tiger Woods and Steve Williams enjoyed gargantuan success as a partnership, making their parting and futures that much more intriguing.
Getty Images/Sam Greenwood

Tiger Woods continues to make news in the golf world despite not having played a competitive round in over two months. On Wednesday, it was announced on Woods' website that he and longtime caddy Steve Williams, who had seen Woods through 12 years of competition that included 63 of Woods' 71 career PGA Tour victories, among them 13 of his 14 major championships.

Tiger Woods and Steve Williams during the first round of the PLAYERS Championship.  Woods withdrew after nine holes.  It was their last competitive round as a partnership.
Getty/Streeter Lecka

Said the press release on Woods' website,

Tiger Woods announced Wednesday that he and caddie Steve Williams will not be working together in the future.

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it's time for a change," Woods said. "Stevie is an outstanding caddie and a friend and has been instrumental in many of my accomplishments. I wish him great success in the future."

Presently, a replacement has not been named.

Woods continues to rest and rehabilitate his left leg. No decision has been made when he will return to competition on the PGA Tour.

In the last two days, the circumstances surrounding the breakup seem to have been fleshed out to a surprising extent. Williams has gone on-record in interviews claiming that his recent caddying stints for Adam Scott, during Woods' injury-based inactivity, constituted disloyalty on Williams part, giving Woods cause for his termination.

It is worth noting that since the scandal in late 2009 that began his decline--both personal and professional--Woods' has made other significant personnel changes, including parting ways with former swing coach Hank Haney and leaving mega-agency IMG while retaining Mark Steinberg as his personal agent. Whether Steve Williams' departure ultimately is a productive part of a process of personal life-cleansing remains to be seen, as does the naming of Williams' replacement.

But, of course, Woods will need to become healthy and start preparing to play competitive golf again in order to need such a replacement. One has to wonder whether that will happen this year, or whether 2012 will serve as another "re-boot year" for Woods. There have been rumblings that Woods may return at next week's Greenbrier Classic, but until a formal announcement is made, it is safe to be skeptical about Woods' return as every bit of news he makes becomes more and more tinged with mystery and disquiet.

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Speaking of caddying, Hartford area golfers, especially on scorching-hot days such as this, may be looking to play golf accompanied by a caddy. The experience is wonderful, allowing a player to walk the course without the strain of carrying a bag as well. In addition, a great caddy can often be a source of great advice on putts and shot selection as well as a source of mood-lightening jokes and stories. Unfortunately, though, caddying is mostly reserved for the realm of private clubs, meaning public golfers may miss out. In Hartford County, Hartford Golf Club is the only facility with a robust caddy program (I loop there on the weekends); many of Fairfield County's clubs, however, boast squadrons of caddies for their well-heeled memberships.

All is not lost, however, for the avid golfer who lacks access to a tony private club well-stocked with caddies. Great River Golf Club in Milford offers players the opportunity to reserve a forecaddy for their rounds at the upscale daily-fee track (full disclosure: I have not played Great River and so cannot comment on the golf course itself).


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