Tiger Woods, Longtime Caddie Steve Williams Part Ways: 'Time For Change'

Since 1999, Steve Williams has served as Tiger Woods' caddy, joining Woods on the bag for 13 of his 14 major championships and forming one of the best-known pairings of golfer and caddie in the modern era. As of today, that tandem is parting ways: Woods announced Wednesday that Williams would no longer be his caddie in an article posted to TigerWoods.com.

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it's time for a change," Woods said. "Stevie is an outstanding caddie and a friend and has been instrumental in many of my accomplishments. I wish him great success in the future."

Williams, a New Zealander known more familiarly to many golf fans as Stevie, was a vigilant protector of Woods on the course, and acquired a reputation for gruffness with spectators and media for it. In 2004, Williams wrested a camera from a fan at the U.S. Open; at one Skins Game, Williams tossed a photographer's camera in the water.

Williams and Woods were also clos personally: Williams attended Woods' 2005 wedding to Elin Nordegren, and Woods watched some of Williams' dirt track races in New Zealand.

Woods, who has had Williams on the bag since firing Mike "Fluff" Cowan in 1999, has no timetable for his return to the PGA Tour after injuries that have kept him out of the 2011 U.S. Open and 2011 British Open. Williams had been caddying for other players during Woods' recovery, including Adam Scott at the 2011 British Open.

Woods also gave no word about a possible replacement for Williams.

For more on Tiger Woods, visit visit SB Nation's golf hub, and check out our golf blog, Waggle Room

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