8 Things We Learned From Stevie Williams’ New Book

November 3, 2015
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In Stevie Williams’ newly released autobiography, “Out of the Rough,” the caddie paints a less-than-complimentary picture of his former employer, Tiger Woods. But the memoir isn’t only about Tiger, whose bag Williams carried for all but one of Tiger’s 14 major wins. Williams reflects on his time with former world No. 1 Greg Norman and his current boss, Adam Scott. He also spills some of his caddying philosophies and a few tricks of the trade. Reluctant to spend $14 to download the book? Here are your CliffsNotes.

1. Williams says that Tiger didn’t like seeing his “arch-rival” Phil Mickelson finally winning a major, at the 2004 Masters.

“…because, like everyone else, [Tiger] knew that once Phil won that major, he had the ability to win again and again,” Williams writes. “…but to me the bottom line was that he didn’t like seeing Phil win and would do his best to make sure it didn’t happen again.”

2. While still caddying for Tiger, Williams gave Adam Scott a pep talk at the 2011 Masters, and some people didn’t like it.

“I told Adam in no uncertain terms he had to go out there and believe he was the best player, that it was his day and to keep telling himself, ‘I’m Adam Scott and I’m winning this tournament,’” Williams writes.

A few weeks later, Williams writes, Tiger told him: “If you caddy for Adam, that’s you and me finished.”

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3. Williams sometimes provided his players inaccurate yardages—yes, even Tiger—so they would hit what Williams believed was the best club.

“A good example in my career was Tiger Woods’ penultimate shot on the 72nd hole at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008,” Williams writes. “I convinced Tiger to ignore the yardage book and to hit the club I felt would deliver the best outcome. It was a hell of a decision but my gut feeling on how he would execute that shot proved correct and allowed him to get into a playoff.”

4. Tiger gave Stevie marriage advice.

According to Williams, Tiger called him during the middle of the night in November 2002 and told Williams that he should propose to his girlfriend.

“Marriage advice from Tiger Woods?” Williams writes. “I was gobsmacked.”

5. Greg Norman urged Williams to come back to his bag after Norman blew the 1996 Masters, and Williams thinks he would have made a difference.

“[Norman] knew he had let his greatest opportunity to win the Masters slip through his hands,” Williams writes. “Suddenly he was begging me to come back to be his caddy. Without knocking Tony Navarro, I truly believe that with a different approach I may have been able to make a difference that day.”

6. Tiger was “tired of golf” back in 2004.

After the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, where Tiger finished 14 shots behind winner Retief Goosen, Williams said that Tiger told him, “Stevie, I think I’ve had enough of golf. I’d really like to try to be a Navy SEAL.”

“… As I understood it, he knew someone who could get him in.”

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7. Williams claims that he never knew about Tiger’s affairs.

Williams says that “only a handful” of Tiger’s closest buds knew about his philandering. “He knew my values,” Williams writes, “and that I would have zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.”

8. Williams regrets calling his 2011 WGC-Bridgestone victory with Scott the “most satisfying” win of his career.

“Clearly, it wasn’t—there had been much more significant victories—but I was caught up in the moment,” Williams writes.

In the book, Williams ranks his top 10 wins. No. 1 is his first win as a caddie, when New Zealand’s Bob Charles won the 1980 New Zealand PGA. No. 2 is his 1983 Australian Masters win with Greg Norman — the duo’s first W together. No. 3 is his 1999 PGA Championship with Tiger.