VANCOUVER - Tiger Woods isn't on the tee-sheet at the RBC Canadian Open, but the struggling superstar is never far from the spotlight.
Woods announced Wednesday on his website that he is splitting with longtime caddie Steve Williams, a development that generated plenty of buzz at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.
“They've had such a good run,” said South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, the reigning Masters champion. “There is a saying that a good thing will always come to an end some time, so I suppose they just needed a change. He hasn't been playing much and he hasn't been playing well, so maybe what he needs is a new environment.”
Woods hasn't participated in the Canadian Open since 2001, one year after his record-setting triumph at Glen Abbey, and has been sidelined since mid-May with a knee injury.
That didn't stop Wednesday's news of his decision to dump Williams after a dozen years together from spreading like wildfire on the practice range and in the locker-room at Shaughnessy. Williams was lugging Woods' bag for 72 victories around the world, including 13 majors, but he hasn't won a tournament in 20 months.
The caddie carousel always seems to be spinning on the PGA Tour — Canada's own Mike Weir will use a new caddy, ex-cop Don Thom, this week — but it usually doesn't generate this much chatter.
“The only reason it's a big deal is because it's Tiger Woods,” said Canadian Tour graduate, and PGA Tour rookie, Andres Gonzalez. “I mean, I let go a caddy three weeks ago and I have a new guy and nobody knows about that. It's just because of who it is. Anything that Tiger does, because of the magnitude of who he is, it's going to be a story.”