Western Leader : December 14th 2010
17 WESTERN LEADER, DECEMBER 14, 2010 SPORT Balancing act for Williams By CAROLYN THOMAS A team: Steve Williams is caddie to and a close friend of American golfing legend Tiger Woods. Photo: MARTIN HUNTER/DOMINION POST Different course: Speedway racing is Steve William's other interest away from the golf course. his Multi-talented sportsman Steve Williams is a busy man, whether he s defending a New Zealand speedway title or helping Tiger Woods reclaim golf s No 1 spot. But he also loves kicking back at home in Kumeu. I m a New Zealander through and through, Wil- liams says. It has been a tough year for Williams, the caddie of the American golfing legend since 1999. He stood by Woods through his very public outing of marital affairs and sub- sequent marriage break-up. The father-of-one is glad Woods is back on the greens after a short break from golf. A constant and high level competition is what Williams thrives on. He says it is a privilege to be part of Woods unpre- cedented golfing achieve- ments. I m very fortunate to be playing with one of the best sportsman of all time, Wil- liams says. Basically his dedication and drive to be the best is like nothing I ve ever seen before. Woods almost got his first 2010 win at the Chevron World Challenge in Califor- nia on Monday but lost to Irish golfer Graeme McDowell in a play-off. Williams, who donated $1 million to the Starship children s hospital in 2008, expects a full comeback from Woods. His game is slowly been coming around, Williams says. I d be surprised if Tiger wasn t back in 2011. He certainly wants to stick around long enough to see Woods break Jack Nicklaus record of 18 major champion- ship wins. Tiger s drive and dedi- cation to get through 19 major championships -- it s really enthralling. If the enjoyment never goes -- I ll probably never stop. It s one of those things you keep doing. Woods has visited in the nor-west a number of times and attended his wedding there in 2006. They also hit South Head Golf Club together. Williams has also worked for golfing greats Greg Nor- man, Ray Floyd and Peter Thompson. Williams, who started his professional cad- dieing career at age 15, hopes to bring Woods back. One of my goals I haven t fulfilled is to be caddie to a New Zealand Open cham- pion, he says. Time away from his wife Kirsty and his five-year-old son is hard for Williams, who fits his racing around Woods golf schedule. His son s recent start at school makes it difficult for the family to tour together. Anybody that travels knows that this is the most difficult part about it, he says. There is no two ways about it. A stint away from golf meant also meant more time for racing -- another passion from a young age. He drives saloon and super saloon cars and will defend his national title next month. It s only early in the season, Williams says. It is going really well, he says. Williams was made a mem- ber of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2007 and set up the Steve Williams Foun- dation to financially assist junior golfers and race car drivers. Juggling everything can be difficult but he says he has learned to balance it. You ve got to switch caps. When I am caddieing, I am caddieing. You quickly make the adjustment back. Keeping physically and mentally fit is important especially to be able to recover quickly from regular long-haul flights. He says planning and being patient is across the board too. You ve got too look ahead, Williams says. Things don t always go the way you want them to go. In order to finish first you ve first got to finish. SOFTBALL Clubrooms open but Bears lose United man: West Harbour resident Thomas Enoka pitches for Auckland United at Starling Park. PHOTOS: FIONA GOODALL Ouch: Waitakere's second baseman Gerard Long collides with Auckland United's Thomas Enoka. Base man: Bears player Jesse Bond slides into second base against Auckland United's Josh Cooke. Close call: Bears backstop Casey Eden bobbles the ball as Auckland United's Andy McMillan slides in. The Waitakere Bears were comfortably beaten 5-1 by Auckland United in their softball game at Starling Park over the weekend. Waitakere were playing without its star twins Pat- rick and Heinie Shannon, both on tour with the Black Sox in Australia. The day also saw the open- ing of the new Starling Park clubrooms. Bears president Brian Hooper was happy with the day despite the premier men s loss. It went off a treat with the young tee-ballers and Ranui-Swanson footballers holding games before the official opening, he says. Everyone who had a look through the new clubrooms went away most impressed.
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