There is no doubt that Tiger Woods is a great golfer, he will win many more tournaments assuming the injury list does not increase. Steve Williams won many tournaments as a caddy to Tiger, and only one title since. The reason that they won so many tournaments, including majors is that they were a great team. There was some magic in their relationship, you can see that in the way they would celebrate together with every putt that dropped, or chip fly in the hole. Something special always seemed to happen just when they needed it, they encouraged one another, they were the A team. I personally don’t think Tiger will now beat Jack’s major record, he may win another major, but there does not seem to be the same desire there anymore, and every injury lessens that desire, dampens the fire that used to burn within him. The loss of that spark, Steve Williams, is the deciding factor. Tiger Woods is a great golfer, but Steve Williams was a significant part of that team, and they will now never team up again. I guess no one will ever know why the split happened, who was the driving force in making that destructive decision, but I am pretty certain it was not initiated by Tiger Woods. He will win another major, but not enough to beat Jack.
Most people assume that if you pay Tiger Woods appearance money it guarantees success for any tournament. Unfortunately this is not always the case, as was proved in the 2002 New Zealand Open at the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. Woods reportedly agreed to participate in this tournament as a favor to his caddy Steve Williams. At a conservative 6577 yards the Paraparaumu links course should have been a breeze for a golfer of Woods world class standing. The people came to see the great man, but it soon became apparent that they would never get close to him. There were even grumblings from club members who were denied access to certain areas of the club if Tiger happened to be there. These minders, or body guards put an aggressive ring of steel around Tiger. Allegedly the steel was the guns these guys were carrying, what was Tiger expecting from the known well behaved people of New Zealand ? It may be that Tiger himself was not aware of the activities of these guys, I will leave that thought for your own deliberation.
As far as the paying public were concerned Tiger never really turned up to contest, he was just on a paid vacation. Happy to show a few glimpses of his ability and smile away while walking down the fairways. What concerned the members of this club was the appearance money they paid this man to compete, he was lucky to make the cut. How could this be, granted the weather did not assist but surely the worlds best golfer could easily master the interesting 6577 yard links layout.
There were rumors of nightly goings on at the mansion he was renting, but nothing that could be confirmed. History now has given a clue to what was happening there and maybe the energy used at night severely hampered Tigers effort out on the course.
The people of New Zealand and club members felt let down by the great mans performance on the course. The club itself, once all the counting had been done was left with a huge debt. The organizers and outside management consultants all left with their cut, but the club had nothing. Tiger Woods did not need to win the tournament to make a profit on his trip, the appearance money took care of that detail. Allegedly he took home more money than the worthy winner Craig Parry of Australia.
Even today the club is struggling to pay the interest off the bank loan let alone pay off the debt. Tiger will never return, but it would be helpful if Steve Williams could be persuaded to organize a benefit tournament of some kind. It would be sad to see this famous links course turned into a housing estate sometime in the future, there are some people already having designs on exactly that kind of project.
Top 100 golfer and blogger John Huggan has awarded Steve the winner of his annual award Plonker of the Year. I suppose I have to agree, Steve’s comments endeared him to no one. Lets hope he sets about restoring the good name of New Zealand in 2012.
Huggy has set about playing the 100 golf courses in the world, and also writes about his experiences. Nice to be able to report he likes New Zealand, and also my own course Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. Anytime you return John, please let me know. Here is his quote for Steve and of New Zealand.
“…how could anyone get close to this intellectually challenged Kiwi?”
Quote of the Day
“It’s hard to find a greater collection of courses than Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers, Paraparaumu and Jack’s Point. I still have fresh memories of my amazing visit to Queenstown. I hope to return some day to this great country.” – Top 100 Golfer reviewing his golfing travels in 2011
Here’s the link to John Huggan and another golf blog I also read, http://www.voxy.co.nz/blogs/stan-sutherland.