Steve Williams has the best view of the world's best golfer, but he says being able to afford to chip in $1 million to help rebuild a child cancer ward is the highlight of his "exceptional" life.
Williams, Tiger Woods' caddie since 1999, handed over a $1 million cheque to Starship children's hospital in Auckland yesterday.
He has witnessed his boss' meteoric rise in world golf but told The Dominion Post yesterday: "I've been very fortunate to have an exceptional life .... but nothing will compare to the feeling of being able to help and possibly save some lives."
Williams said his cut of Woods' earnings had contributed but he and wife Kirsty had worked hard to raise the donation they pledged a year ago.
Becoming a father two years ago had changed his perspective.
"You realise as parents how fortunate you are. Everybody knows somebody who's been hit by cancer."
Woods won more than US$12.65 million in prize money last year and Williams is believed to earn up to 10 per cent of his total prize money.
Part of the $1 million was raised by auctioning items donated by Woods.
"He is so excited for us and he knows we worked hard and he's helped us."
Williams said his visit to Starship's cancer ward last year had had a profound effect.
"It was a day that will stand out in my mind forever. In a sense it's a sad thing to realise that an oncology unit needs to be expanded because of the number of children getting cancer."
The money was donated by the Steve Williams Foundation, better known for its support of junior golf in New Zealand, and will go toward a $5.5 million rebuild of Starship's cancer ward, due to begin next month.
The ward treats nearly 70 per cent of the country's child cancer patients.
Starship Foundation chief executive Andrew Young said it was the first million-dollar donation by an individual New Zealander. "We're still completely blown away by this."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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