Tiger and Steve Breaking Up? What's Cooking?
Who woulda thunk it?
Tiger Woods and Steve Williams parting ways after all those years and all that success? Tell me it ain’t so, Tiger. Go find a photographer to kick, Stevie. There’s something rotten in Golf Fantasyland.
Golfers and caddies parting ways is nothing unusual, of course. No matter how close the player and his bagman may be, things happen. Hey, if Tiger can part ways with Elin, he sure as heck can get by without Stevie.
Still, one has to wonder just what’s going on with Tiger these days. Life hasn’t been the same for golf’s “Chosen One” since the night he cracked up his Escalade and showed up with some serious bruises in some curious places.
Over a span of 12 years Tiger and Steve were the golden duo on the PGA Tour. That’s golden as in cash, of course.
Tiger won 72 times with Steve on his bag. Nobody else even comes close to that. Heck, no other two golfers come close to that.
And 13 of those 72 wins were major championships. Has Tiger lost his mind?
There’s something going on, you can bet on that. Maybe it’s nothing more than Tiger just pouting and taking out his frustrations. Maybe it’s Steve who wanted out. I don’t know and I’m sure we’ll never know all the details.
Heck, we don’t even know yet which golf club Elin used on her wayward husband during that Thanksgiving fiasco a couple of years ago.
What we do know is that — almost without a doubt — Tiger Woods’ once bright future is in jeopardy.
The kid who was christened by no less than the great Jack Nicklaus to “win more Masters Tournaments than Arnie and me combined” has almost certainly blown that opportunity as well as the chance to win more major championships than Jack’s 18.
In many ways the demise of Tiger is tragic. During his prime, he was the absolute best that there ever was. No, he wasn’t the greatest golfer who ever pulled on a pair of FootJoys; he needed a few more years to nail that honor down. But I’m convinced he was the best golfer who ever played.
I’m not making light of what’s going on with Tiger. I feel for the guy. But it does seem that he is now paying the price for an arrogance that he seemed to thrive on.
Just as he’s never talked about his divorce from Elin, he’s probably not going to talk about his divorce from Steve.
“I think it’s time for a change” has been the only statement from Tiger, leaving Steve wondering what hit him. One thing he knows is that whatever hit him, it wasn’t the sack of money that he was expecting to take home as his share of the once-feared twosomes’ golf victories.
Nobody really seems to know what’s going on with Tiger these days, but divorces are nothing new for him, of course. He dropped caddie Fluff Cowan after a successful debut on the PGA Tour because Fluff was becoming a celebrity in his own right.
He dumped longtime instructor Butch Harmon, perhaps for much of the same reason. Then he got rid of teacher Hank Haney and picked up Sean Foley a couple of years ago and has not come anywhere near reaching the success he was having earlier.
So who knows what’s going through the mind of the once great Tiger Woods. Let’s face it, the guy is 35 years old now and he’s damaged goods, not only with leg injuries but with his public image.
When the gigantic public relations firm IMG got rid of Tiger’s agent, knowing that Tiger would go with him, it was more evidence that the Titanic was sinking.
There is always the possibility that Tiger will come back to the Tour and be successful. After all, his talent is unsurpassed in golf history. But the longer he stays away, the rustier that talent is going to get.
Winning on the PGA Tour is not a given, not even for a talent of Tiger’s magnitude.
I hope he gets his head and his game straight again, but the odds are not shifting in his favor.
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