Williams bemoans wasted years

TIGER Woods' sacked New Zealand caddie says he wasted the last two years of his life with the golfer.

After 12 years working together, Woods took Steve Williams aside two weeks ago after an American golf tournament and told him he was fired.

"Sometimes you get an inkling that something's going to happen ... And I basically didn't have much to say with him. I was somewhat in a state of shock, but I just listened to what he thought.

"I didn't agree with what he was telling me but at the end of the day that wasn't going to make a difference so I just took it on the chin," Williams said.

Woods and Williams were together for 12 years and 250 tournaments which produced 72 wins, 13 majors and a friendship so strong that each attended the other's wedding.

From his home in Oregon in the US, Williams, 47, told the Herald last night he was completely surprised at being axed and "extremely disappointed" by the decision.

"Realistically I could look back, and I've wasted the last two years of my life because he's played infrequently, he's been injured and played poorly. I was prepared to hang in there through thick and thin so I find the timing extraordinary."

Woods has not won a major since the 2008 US Open or any other tournament since 2009 and his world ranking has fallen to 20th.

In the past 20 months Woods has changed swing coaches, lost four major sponsors, was divorced from his wife and has now sacked his caddie.

Williams said he suspected Woods fired him because he was not playing as well as he could and wanted some fresh opinions.

"I understand that's part of the game ... To be let go after staying incredibly loyal during the most difficult time in his life and then for him to decide that he needs a change, I think that the timing has been very poor."

The pair kept quiet about the announcement for two weeks until after the British Open, to keep from being a distraction to Australian golfer Adam Scott who Williams now caddies for.

Williams said his friendship with Woods had become very strained. They have not spoken since he was fired.

"When Tiger went through the Tiger scandal, as it's known, I was obviously very disappointed in him, as everyone was. Obviously I lost a tremendous amount of respect for him ... and I told him that he had to earn back my respect. Whatever respect he may have earned back, he's just lost."

Williams maintained he "had no idea" about Woods' multiple extramarital affairs which were revealed after he crashed his car in 2009.

"I had no idea what was going on and that was the hardest part ... it was a difficult time. I'm a straight-up person, I'm a loyal person - if I knew something, then I'd say I did."

Williams has been working with Scott for three weeks.

"Hopefully we'll see some great results for Adam," he said. "I've turned the page and don't look back."