‘Wasn’t the Tiger I Knew’: Often Deemed a Robot, Tiger Woods Broke Character Shocking His Close Confidante of 13 Years

Published 07/01/2023, 1:30 PM EDT

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Tiger Woods is undoubtedly the best golfer of his generation and arguably the greatest of all time. One of the most intriguing things about the golfer is that no matter what happens on the fairways, he appears largely unfazed by it.

Sometimes, however, the mask fell off, and his real feelings peeked through for the golf world to see. In fact, the golf legend’s former caddie, Steve Williams, was once bowled over by the unusual display of feelings from the golfer. The stunning revelation had come in Williams’ 2015 tell-all, Out of the Rough, which he co-wrote with journalist Mike Donaldson. Let’s jump right in to learn more!

Tiger Woods once shared a deeply emotional moment with ex-caddie Steve Williams


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From a very young age, Woods had been groomed by his father, Earl, to excel and succeed. Over time, he came to be known not just for his otherworldly skills but also for his calm, composed, and unemotional persona.

However, that wasn’t always the case. In a rare outpouring of emotions, Woods’ 2005 Masters win resulted in him throwing his arms up and letting out a big roar. Two years later, at the British Open, the golfer’s tears flowed uncontrollably as he claimed his 11th major title. After all, the win had come just two months after his father’s demise.


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Another emotionally charged moment came at the 2008 US Open, something that Woods’ former bagman of 13 years, Steve Williams, recalled fondly in his 2015 memoir. “Tiger Woods fell into my arms and wouldn’t let go,” recounted the 59-year-old. “I instinctively moved to separate from him – his victory hugs were traditionally short and sweet – but as I tried to break free his embrace tightened and I realised this wasn’t the Tiger I knew.

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Williams further shared that, barring his victory at Royal Liverpool in 2006, he hadn’t seen the golfing legend break down like this. “His mind was like Fort Knox when it came to guarding his feelings,” he wrote. “I’d come to expect that he would maintain an even keel in public – letting go completely was not part of his repertoire.

The reason behind Tiger Woods’ poignant celebrations at the 2008 US Open

Tiger Woods had claimed 13 of his 15 major victories with Steve Williams by his side. However, it was his 2008 win at Torrey Pines that left a big impression in the New Zealander’s mind.


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The victory was an extremely hard-fought one for Woods. Just two months prior, he had undergone surgery on his left knee. During the rehabilitation period, he further sustained a double-stress fracture of his left tibia. The injury continued to plague him throughout the tournament as well, but he still pushed through.

After making a birdie on the 18th hole in his final round to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate, he broke into a dramatic double fist pump and ecstatically hugged Williams. He eventually won the title on the 19th playoff hole. So, while it was a groundbreaking accomplishment for Woods, it was his subsequent celebration with his then-caddie, Williams, that became a signature moment in the history of golf.


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Watch This Story: Despite the $3,000,000,000 Betrayal, Tiger Woods Also Had His Trust Breached By a Fellow Confidante

What is your favorite Tiger Woods moment? Which major win of his do you remember most fondly? Let us know in the comments!



Written by:

Abantika Ghosh


One take at a time

Abantika is a fresh writer at EssentiallySports who was chosen in the recent round of ‘ES Draft’ for her strong passion for golf writing. Even in her early days, Abantika has displayed an impressive ability to cover golf with gripping and insightful stories backed by thorough research. Her inspiration comes from the words of the legendary golfer and flag-bearer of the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy: "As long as I keep enjoying my golf, then hopefully I'll be able to play well," which motivates her to continue writing engaging pieces.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira