clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steve Williams recalls ‘sickening click of bones’ in Tiger Woods’ knee at 2008 U.S. Open win

Steve Williams is back -- on the bag for Adam Scott, and talking about Tiger Woods, who he says completed the "most heroic" thing he'd ever seen in golf at that famous Torrey Pines U.S. Open.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Tiger Woods is returning to competition at the Memorial after a brief layoff, but so far the week is all about his former caddie, Steve Williams.

Williams announced he was coming out of retirement to loop again for Adam Scott in four elite events this summer just as a Golf Digest interview with the bagman hit the Internet and -- Surprise! Surprise! -- there’s a whole lot of Tiger trivia in Stevie’s recollections.

It’s also no shocker that Williams remains "disappointed" with how Woods, in 2011, ended his 13-year relationship with his former caddie, but somewhat eye-opening was how a couple of accomplishments still had the power to awe the semi-retired New Zealander.

Like that "Oh my goodness!" chip-in on the 16th green in the final round of the 2005 Masters.

That "landing spot" Woods picked out was an old, dime-sized ball mark that Woods hit "exactly, from 20 feet from a tough lie," Williams recalled.

"That the ball went in the hole was sort of a miracle, but hitting the old ball mark on the fly was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen," Williams said.

Not as astounding, however, as Woods’ legendary (and last) major win, at the 2008 U.S. Open, which he accomplished on a bad knee and a broken leg.

"On the course, the sickening click of bones rubbing together as he walked made me queasy," Williams recalled. "The groans and squeaks he made were unreal.

"It's the most heroic thing I've ever seen in golf."

Oh, and that legendary aura of intimidation that supposedly enveloped Woods in his salad days? Just ask Andrew Coltart if it were real.

Woods’ singles draw in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline was the rookie Coltart, who sat on the bench the first two days and was "visibly nervous" to face Tiger on Sunday, Williams recounted.

"Tiger walked over to him and said, ‘I know you haven't played. If it helps, this first hole doglegs to the left,’" Williams said. "In that one devastating sentence, he reminded Coltart he was a rookie coming in cold … and that he was playing a strange course against the best player in the world."

Tiger won handily, 3 and 2.

Williams also wondered -- as so many others have -- whether Tiger’s workout mania actually helped his game, dismissed any notion that Woods ever used performance-enhancing drugs ("Tiger always respected the game") and bolstered Woods' notoriety as a lousy tipper. But Williams said Woods' "unbelievable generosity" toward people in need more than made up for his reputed frugality.

Read the entire interview at Golf Digest.