Steve Williams: Tiger compromised career in gym

He laughs about it now, but Steve Williams admitted there were some rocky moments during his tenure as Tiger Woods’ caddy…even if it did produce 13 major victories.

And although Williams kept his mouth well and truly shut while he was on Tiger’s bag, five years after their split he seems quite happy to discuss his own relationship with his former boss.

Steve Williams with Tiger Woods Steve Williams with Tiger Woods (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

He even admitted that all that work in the gym in producing an impressive physique may have taken its toll on Woods, in the long run.

Williams now suggests that the chronic back problems that have plagued the former world No 1 may have been brought on by his own desire to be the fittest and possibly strongest player on the US Tour.

“I guess when he looks back, he [Tiger] might question some of the activities that he did, some of the gym work that he might have done that, you know, had all these injuries escalate,” Williams said.

When it was suggested by a reporter that the problem may have been that Woods trained as an athlete rather than a golfer…and athletes’ bodies would often begin to break down in their late 30s, certainly in terms of enabling competition at the highest level, Williams found it hard to disagree.

“It is very hard to pinpoint how he has got to where he is now, but I’d have to say there is a lot merit in what you’ve just said,” said the big Kiwi, who now caddies, albeit part-time, for Adam Scott.

And Williams told the BBC of one amazing day when he actually felt nervous caddying for Woods. It was during the American’s famous 15-shot victory in the US Open at Pebble Beach.

The third round resumed early on the Sunday and Woods didn’t know that Williams had taken balls from his golf bag to practice his putting back at the hotel.

It meant they had to complete the closing half-dozen holes with just three balls in the bag. When one became scuffed and the oblivious Woods gave it to a young spectator, Williams began to panic.

The caddie’s discomfort grew even greater when his boss drove into the ocean on the final tee, leaving just one ball left in the bag.

“Put it this way, if he’d not found the fairway with the next I’d not be here talking to you now,” grinned Williams.

Williams also said he felt Woods would still come back to the game and win a golf tournament again.