Steve Williams, arguably the most famous caddie in golf, is to call time on his life as a bagman next year after revealing 2018 will be his last year on the PGA TOUR.
Williams started out as a caddie in 1979—he will bring his time in the sport to an end after 40 years when retiring from golf next year.
The New Zealander will be best remembered for his hugely successful partnership with Tiger Woods and more recently Adam Scott.
He made the announcement of his intention to retire in 2018 when speaking to iSeekGolf, and said: “Next year will probably be—certainly be—absolutely my last year of caddying. The only reason I’d like to caddie next year is that it’s sort of a personal milestone: It’ll be 40 years next year.”
Williams has no guaranteed work next year having recently split amicably with Scott. The Australian has decided to go back to one caddie for the 2017/18 season having had Williams sharing duties with David Clark, a regular on the PGA TOUR. It is Williams, out of the two, who will make way.
Instead, Williams plans to appear on TOUR when needed at events by certain players. He won’t have a regular gig, though. “I’ll caddy a few tournaments,” he said. “I’m not sure who for yet, but I’ll just caddie a handful of tournaments next year and that’ll be it.”
He hinted he could also appear as a broadcaster at some stage too, adding: “You don’t say no to anything. It’s a possibility.”
Williams worked with Australians Peter Thompson and Greg Norman during his early days as a caddie before teaming up with another Aussie Ian Baker-Finch and American Raymond Floyd. Successful in those partnerships, it was in 1999 that Williams really shot to prominence when teaming up with Woods.
Woods and Williams worked together between 1999 and 2011, winning 13 of the American’s 14 majors as a partnership, including the Masters three times, the U.S. Open on three occasions, the Open Championship three times and four PGA Championships.
It was a period of domination for Woods, who helped Williams become New Zealand’s best paid sportsman—despite the caddy not actually playing the game. It is estimated Williams earned $8.8 million during his 12-year stint on Woods’ bag, courtesy of a 10 percent prize money share. It is also estimated that his total earnings topped $12 million.
In addition to this, Williams was also awarded an MNZM—the New Zealand Order of Merit—in 2007 for his work with a charitable foundation for young golfers.
After splitting with Woods in acrimonious circumstances following the former world number one’s marriage scandal, injury and form problems, Williams teamed up with fellow Australasian Scott in 2011.
The pair enjoyed instant success when winning the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. They also went close to major success when finishing second in the 2012 Open Championship, though Williams did earn a 14th major victory as a caddie a year later when he helped Scott win the 2013 Masters at Augusta.