He sure has an impressive resume: 145 tournament victories, 13 major titles, business partners with the game’s best (Greg Norman (BTW, Greg Norman’s personal website URL is “www.shark.com” – you’re move Tiger), Raymond Floyd, Adam Scott… Tiger), media sensation and one-of-a-kind jackass. Now, in many walks of life, that would be a spectacularly awesome way to begin your life’s tale to your grand-kids. But for super-looper Stevie Williams, it just wouldn’t do the trick. He would have to throw in several not-so-subtle digs at his former employers, lash out at perceived unfair treatment and emit such naturally repulsive self-promotion that the limelight would be unable to turn away.
Basically, the guy’s really, really, really good at his job. And his job is to carry a moderately heavy bag filled with tiny white balls and a couple dozen shiny long metal rods. And read off some numbers every once in a while from a map-like book in his front pocket. He gets to where a spiffy uniform for his job, and even gets to be on TV nearly every day when he ends his morning commute. He gets to stroll around immaculately groomed links while being ensured at least 10% of whatever his partner earns that day. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
So how is it that someone like me would waste my time writing about someone like Steve Williams? How is it that this guy has become a household name doing a job that usually gets you about as much fame and fortune as professional cat grooming? Well, in addition to all of the wonderful things I’ve mentioned, Steve Williams also happens to be a world-class jackass. Not just an average jackass. Not even a better-than-average jackass. But a truly gifted, one of a kind, jackass extraordinaire.
I suppose that deserves a mild explanation, at least, as to how I come to this remarkable conclusion. For starters, the guy’s never seen a camera he didn’t want to either A) immediately steal and drop-kick into the nearest lake, or B) cozy up to with a fervent passion for self-promotion. Consider his supremely lame “speech” after his boss, Adam Scott, won the Bridgestone Invitational this weekend.
“I’ve been caddying for 33 years and this has been the best week of my life,” said Williams. “I’m not joking. I’m never, ever going to forget this week. It’s the greatest week of my life.
He went on to reminisce about how this was “his” 145th career “victory.” More important to his eloquent words, however, was what Stevie left out. As Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel put it:
During the short interview, though, Williams never showed any humility for his role in the victory. He never acknowledged the irony in a caddie getting more attention than the player. And most importantly, he never mentioned [his boss Adam] Scott. Didn’t say he was thankful for the opportunity to work with him nor did he commend him for such stellar play. Instead, Williams ensured that he would be the biggest story on this day, rather than deflecting all glory to the man who finished atop the leaderboard.
Those things seem like no-brainers for virtually anyone in Williams’ position to mention. He’s the freakin caddy! He didn’t hit a single ball on a single hole. Adam Scott “won” the tournament, not Steve Williams. No more than the bat boy won the World Series for the Phillies in 2008. Sure, someone had to pick up the bat every time Ryan Howard struck out. God forbid someone important like Jayson Werth tripped on it running out to his position. But I bet the Phillies would have been just fine without their star bat-boy. And while it’s true that this victory was Adam Scott’s first in a year, Williams’ completely open, me-first agenda is nauseating. I mean, he could have at least mentioned the guy who’s money he’s about to claim as his earnings.
Steve Williams was Tiger’s caddie for 14 years and they became best of friends. As everyone likes to point out, they even attended each other’s weddings (where were ya on that one Stevie??). But when Tiger was sidelined with an injury earlier this year, Steve Williams – New Zealand’s second most famous citizen after Peter Jackson – suddenly found himself unemployed and without a steady paycheck. Now, I would assume that his cut of the “winnings” from 13 Major Championships and 130-some other PGA victories would have built up to something pretty sizable by this point in time. But maybe Steve has a bigger penchant for Lamborghinis and silk caddie uniforms than I would have. Either way, the guy ain’t poor. But, he ain’t Tiger-rich either. So he found a new job, like the millions of other laid-off American workers. And then Tiger fired him, presumably for being a jackass.
And as soon as he was done ripping Tiger for being so damn good with the ladies, Steve Williams went right ahead and continued ripping his ex-boss at every turn. Amazing, but true. Steve Williams is one of the very few people in America who can make Tiger Woods look entirely sympathetic. That’s no easy feat. All Williams likes to think about is himself, which probably was not helped by the fans chanting his name and screaming for him as he and Scott marched up the 18th fairway on Sunday.
So, yeah, the guy’s a good – no, great – caddie. But when the word “caddie” comes after the word “great”, the entire sentence kind of looses it’s mystique. Somehow, just like Ryan Howard, I think Tiger will be just fine when he gets his groove back and returns to his old self. And if he was as spiteful as some claim, he might just do it with a random spectator on his bag, Happy Gilmore style.