Tiger Woods may be the best golfer of all time but his longtime caddie has revealed a fact about him that will surprise many golf fans.
Tiger Woods may be the richest golfer ever to play the game but he didn’t care one bit about how much prize money he won at tournaments.
That surprising fact has been unearthed by his former caddie Steve Williams, who was on the bag for 13 of Woods’ 15 major victories.
Speaking on the Chasing Majors podcast with golf writer Evin Priest, Williams revealed what Woods did, or didn’t do, at the conclusion of a tournament, set him apart from every other golfer on the tour.
“One of the things I admire most about Tiger — I admired a lot of things about him — but one thing I absolutely admired about Tiger is that at the completion of a tournament you’d go into the scorer’s hut and you sign your scorecard and you hand it in,” Williams said.
“They always have a sheet with the prize money allocation for everybody so you can look up on the screen to see how you finished and look down and see how much you won.
“Tiger never, ever once took a look at that. He played to win trophies and create records, not for prize money.”
Williams described Woods as an ultra-competitive beast who was hellbent on breaking American legend Jack Nicklaus’ longstanding record of 18 major wins. He is currently three short of that mark.
“He’s the only player I’ve ever caddied for, the only player I’ve ever seen who never, ever looked at that sheet,” the New Zealander said.
“OK, you could argue he didn’t need to look at that sheet, but every player looks at that sheet, and he never did.”
Williams was also impressed that Woods never inquired about the prize pool when he was invited to play at a tournament overseas.
“Another thing that I admire about him (was) when he was getting approached to go and play in an event overseas,” he said.
“All they players always ask, ‘What’s the purse at that event?’. Tiger never asked what the purse was.
“Whenever he got offers to play at event overseas, the prize money had no bearing on his decision to play or not play in an event that he was invited to overseas.”
As of 2021, Woods has made around $165 million (AUD) in prize money on PGA tour, making him the highest earning player in the history of the game.
However, it’s unclear if or when the 46-year-old will make a return to competitive golf following last year’s serious car crash that badly injured one of his legs.
Woods has appeared at an exhibition event with his son Charlie but has said he will never be a full-time professional golfer again.
He does hold faint hopes of returning to the professional tour but can’t commit to a playing return.