PHILADELPHIA - The Tiger Woods/Steve Williams divorce is less amicable than the Tiger Woods/Elin Nordegren divorce.
At least Elin left with some very nice parting gifts in the form of one whopper of a check and two kids.
All Williams will get is a lucrative book deal from someone and a lot of bitter memories in what should have been a storybook twilight to his career.
Woods apparently let Stevie go a few weeks back in the boardroom at Aronimink during the AT&T National. The public reason never fully explained, but the speculated reason is Woods didn't like Williams going to work for Adam Scott while Tiger has been on the shelf.
We never learned what Stevie's financial situation with Woods was, but no one ever figured Williams was exactly hurting. It makes the decision to work for Scott all the more curious. Why does a guy who's wealthy enough to support generations of the Williams family need to work for another guy when his guy is down with injury?
Why was Tiger so paranoid about Stevie getting some work while he was rehabbing? Is Tiger just cleaning house in a post-scandal era?
There are a lot of questions, but what's become clear is that Williams is seriously cheesed about it.
"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," Williams told the New Zealand Herald. "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."
He's right about it being part of the job. When things go wrong, somebody goes. The last sentence is chilling.
"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," he added. "I was prepared to hang in there through thick and thin, so I find the timing extraordinary."
Really, a waste?
"I'm a very big stickler for loyalty and I stuck with Tiger through his difficult period when a lot of people thought I should have left his side," he told Television New Zealand. "That was the most difficult period that I've ever been through in my life. I'm pretty hardheaded and took it probably a lot better than my wife and family did, but there's no way that I should have been put through that."
OK, that's enough.
Williams has every right to come out swinging if he wants, but I think I've heard enough.
Let's imagine this scenario:
Say your boss, who's a man in this hypothetical, falls on some hard times personally, maybe gets involved with a woman, or 10. You go to your boss and say, he "had to earn back my respect." How does that conversation go?
You: "You have to earn back my respect."
Boss: "Shove your judgement and go cash the insane checks I'm providing you to live a life of wealth and opulence you couldn't possibly have ever comprehended in the wildest dreams of any human being."
So now you've gone back to work, your boss rode out the tide of trouble.
Did I mention that your boss' woes have been exacerbated by the fact that he's a daily punch line for Leno of all people, and he's on TMZ more frequently than the editor's coffee mug or that Thor wannabe?
Now, Mr. Boss' return hasn't been great. He underperformed when he finally can work and hurt his back in a ski-lift accident. (It can happen.) You're still working FOR him, but he can't shake this ski-lift thing.
In the interim, you ask your boss if it's ok to work for a competitor. He says yes, but eventually decides, this is the real world and you can't go work for someone else when you're my employee, so he takes you to a beautiful board room at a beautiful golf course and cans you.
Granted, Tiger and Stevie were in each other's weddings, so there's a level of friendship that shouldn't be ignored.
And frankly, Williams is probably the best caddie in the history of the game. Clearly it's not Stevie's fault that Tiger can't hit a fairway or that he was sweet on any Vegas cocktail waitress within ear shot.
Or one from Perkins for that matter.
But the above scenario, while simplified, and not knowing exactly how Tiger reacted when Stevie told him he had to earn his respect back, illustrates that Williams might not have a great argument.
Since the firing, Williams has spoken a lot and it's time to stop it.
First, you're gonna have a book to sale, buddy.
Secondly, the arguments are frail. Williams extolled the virtues of "loyalty" and he absolutely pulled a Tammy Wynette and stood by his man. But Stevie went to work for someone else and that's not unconditional loyalty.
Stevie doesn't own Tiger unilateral loyalty, but if that's his claim to every New Zealand media outlet, remember that one fact.
When news first broke of this, there were a lot of questions and most of them were to the effect of, "why would Tiger do this?" That's perfectly valid and we will never ever find out the answer to that.
But any good will Williams picked up after the firing has been lost. He sounds like a very bitter man who feels like he should've been rewarded for not abandoning ship.
Nothing Williams said was wrong or incorrect and it's exactly how I'd feel. But it's time to stop talking about it.
He may get people to feel bad for Tiger.
- So who does Tiger get to caddy? My hunch is he asks Billy Foster and Jo LaCava, but neither leaves Lee Westwood or Dustin Johnson. John Wood, Hunter Mahan's caddy makes some sense, too. You're hearing a lot about Fanny Sunesson, Henrik Stenson's looper and the caddy when Nick Faldo did most of his damage. She's no nonsense and would be fine. Tony Navarro is out there and I think ultimately may be where Tiger goes. Oddball choice? Notah Begay III.
- Why isn't there a single bit of talk about the Presidents Cup? The teams are finalized in weeks and not a peep. I know it's not the Ryder Cup and it's in Australia, but let's talk some. Furyk, Toms and Van Pelt hold last three U.S. spots. Zero percent chance Fred Couples bring Tiger Woods. Geoff Ogilvy and Vijay Singh are on the outside of the International team.
- I'm still stunned Tom Watson is not playing the U.S. Senior Open, but rather the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour. He is playing with Phil Mickelson and Stuart Appleby who fired a 59 on Sunday last year to hoist the trophy. That's a heck of a group, but Watson can't win this tournament. He can win the U.S. Senior Open.
- Two majors this week and I'll take Tom Lehman at the U.S. Senior Open and Cristie Kerr and the Women's British Open.
- Movie moment - Caught "Horrible Bosses" this weekend and it's funny. Bateman is my hero since "Arrested Development," but the hook is Jennifer Aniston. If you've ever been attracted to her, you will love this movie a lot. But, dozens of kids dressed in "Harry Potter" gear at the theater. I'm a "Star Wars" fan so I've seen my fair share of Jedis buttering their popcorn in my day. These kids bring their parents, who also dress up. You'd love to mock them, but it's cool that a movie means so much, as "Star Wars" did to me, although I never dressed the part. You don't mock though because you never know which kid is actually a warlock.