Woods & Williams Part Ways

Tiger Woods and his long-time caddie, Steve Williams, have ended their working relationship after 12 years, 250 tournaments, 72 wins and 13 major titles. Woods, who has not played since May due to injuries to his left leg, made the announcement on his website (www.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 in his statement. "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."

Because of his injury, Woods allowed Williams to work for Adam Scott in recent tournaments. Woods has not named a replacement for if and when he returns to competition.

"Needless to say, this came as a shock," Williams said in a statement posted on his website.

Williams further commented to the Associated Press from his summer home in Oregon. "A player has the right to fire a caddie at any given time," the New Zealand native said to AP. "And for a player when he's not playing at his best for extended period of time, it's not uncommon to change caddies, coaches, psychologists or bring on a psychologist. We all know the business. I have no problem being fired. But I'm disappointed in the timing of it."

The two not only enjoyed a working relationship during their years together but also were best of friends. Both got engaged while on safari after the Presidents Cup in South Africa, and both were members in each other's weddings.

Williams is only the second caddie who has worked for Woods on a regular basis during the former No. 1's 14-year career. Mike "Fluff" Cowan was Woods's original caddie, but he was fired after the Nissan Open at Riviera in 1999.