Tiger, Stevie Break-Up Clippings

Sometimes blogging is traumatic and so upsetting that my keyboard is flooded with tears of raw emotion. This is not one of those nights!

Doug Ferguson on the break up of golf's sweet lovebirds, reveals that Tiger broke the news in a board room at Aronimink after the AT&T National final round and Stevie chose to keep quiet out of respect for his new client.

In a telephone interview, Williams said he was not upset by being fired and said he was proud to have been fired only twice in his 33 years as a caddie - by Woods and Norman.

"But I'm disappointed in the timing of it," he said. "To be as loyal as someone can be, and with what one had to go through over the last 18 months . . . "

Not as much as Tiger had to go through!

Brian Wacker also got Williams on the phone and among the more interesting things he had to say...he knew it was coming:

"Sometimes you get an inkling something's going to happen," Williams said via cell phone from Sunriver, Ore. "One of my strengths as a caddie is the psychology of players and I just had a feeling things were not right. I'm not sure why, really, but I did.

Fred Woodcock gets the most bizarre comments out of Williams. It would appear to be all about Stevie!

A disappointed Williams said his split with Woods came as a shock given his loyal service, especially after he was dragged into the Woods sex scandal which broke in late 2009.

''I would have to say given what transpired 12-18 months ago, I think anybody in my situation would say they didn't have total respect,'' Williams said this morning.

''That respect would have to be earned again and this situation is definitely not earning my respect.

And Woodcock quotes Williams on a radio show. Same victim theme.

''There's no two ways about it,'' he told Radio Sport.

''I was completely loyal, as loyal as somebody could be. I took a lot of heat during Tiger's scandal, not just myself but my family as well, and never really got pardoned from that scandal.''

Hank Haney was shocked by the news and suggested on Twitter that Tiger owes a great deal of his success to Williams. And we know much love Tiger loves comments like that!

Steve Elling reviews Tiger and Stevie's incredible record together and notes the odd ending has you almost feeling for one of them. Almost.

Only the embattled Woods at this point could manage to make Williams, a veritable sergeant-at-arms on the course who made few friends with occasionally bullying behavior, seem like a sympathetic figure. But he has done just that.

Ron Sirak says there are two ways to look at the changes in Tiger's career.

The first is that he is rubbing the slate clean and starting all over again. After years of stability within his team, except for some childhood and college friends who work for him and Nike, which has been Woods equipment company from the beginning, Steinberg is the last cog remaining from the formidable machine that once dominated golf.

The other way to look at all this is that Woods continues to place the blame for his current state of affairs on those other than himself. If that is the case, then the firing Wednesday of Williams was not a step forward for Woods, but rather another slide back that again raises questions about whether he will ever return as a golfer anywhere near what he was when he was the best on the world -- and one of the best of all time. The question marks continue to grow in number while the answers remain elusive.

Garry Smits doesn't think this is a huge loss for Williams and offers odds on who the replacement might be.

Talk had always been that Woods paid Williams a flat annual salary, instead of basing it on victories and top-10 finishes as most other players do. I heard estimates ranging of $1.5-to-$2 million per year.

If Tiger's offering that kind of jack, a lot of guys would jump at the chance: me included (note to self: go out and practice raking bunkers just in case). But with Woods still idle with injuries and the endorsement money drying up his next looper may get the standard rate of 10 percent for a victory, 7 percent for second through 10th and 5 percent for a finish below that ... and nada for a missed cut.

Under those terms, and given Woods' performance so far this season, you could do better working for Scott Stallings or Marc Leishman.

Thomas Bonk posts an excellent review of Tiger's last year or so of bad news--those opposite Steiny at the negotiating table will undoubtedly appreciate--and wonders if this was as much a cost cutting move as anything else.

Does this mean Tiger can't afford to keep a high-priced caddie on his payroll, or that he doesn't plan to play enough to keep him busy or that the Tiger-Stevie deal has simply run its course?  Unclear.  But, as usual with all things Tiger, there's plenty of speculation.