WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Steve Williams has no intention of quitting his job as caddie to Tiger Woods, the New Zealand native said in a newspaper interview published Sunday.
Williams told New Zealand’s Sunday Star-Times he didn’t know why rumors were circulating he was about to end his lucrative eight-year partnership with Woods, the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer.
“I need to get a few people off my back over this,” Williams said. “I’ve been inundated with e-mails and text messages and requests for interviews but I haven’t responded to anybody and this is the one and only statement I’ll make on it.
“A rumor started last week that I was to retire at the end of the year and there’s no truth to that rumor. If I was to retire, Tiger would be the first one to know.”
Reports of a possible split between Woods and Williams surfaced earlier this month when Woods was said to have approached Billy Foster, caddie to Briton Darren Clarke, to gauge his future availability.
The birth of Woods’ first child, Williams’ recent marriage and the Kiwi caddie’s admitted desire to eventually become a fulltime motor racer fueled rumors that the pair might soon separate.
“I have no idea where this has come from,” Williams said. “Perhaps Tiger may not play as much now that he’s a father but that doesn’t make any difference to my job.
“I caddie for Tiger whenever he plays and he doesn’t play a lot as it is now.”
Williams said he had a wish to eventually turn his motor racing hobby — he is a New Zealand champion in dirt track racing — into a fulltime career.
“That’s something that I’d like to do but caddying for the world No. 1 player is a bit more profitable and meaningful,” he said.
“Once I finish caddying it’s something I’d entertain doing. Every now and again there’s a chance to miss a golf tournament because there’s a major race meeting on but I’ve only missed one tournament because of a race meeting.
“There’s 100 percent no truth to the rumor I’m retiring.”