Tony Navarro doesn't have a Tiger by the tail just yet. But if the world's most famous golfer should call, the veteran PGA Tour caddie from Moline said he would definitely answer the phone.
Navarro said he had a phone full of missed calls and text messages on Wednesday after Tiger Woods announced on his website that the winner of 14 major championships and 71 PGA Tour events is parting ways with Steve Williams, Woods' caddie since 1999.
None of those calls were from Woods himself, Navarro said. But he will keep his phone turned on.
"Yeah, I think I can safely say if that happened, I would take that call," said Navarro, 51 and a veteran of 33 years as one of the top caddies in the game. "I would be silly not to take that opportunity, yes."
Navarro recently ended a seven-year association with Adam Scott, the 30-year-old Australian golfer who now will have Williams on his bag fulltime.
Woods did not name a replacement in his brief Wednesday announcement of Williams' dismissal.
Navarro declined to say if he has been contacted about taking Woods' bag.
"I have not been contacted by Tiger," he said. "I have to leave it at that."
Williams has caddied three times for Scott, starting with the U.S. Open in June. He accepted the job on what was considered an interim basis, with Woods on the sidelines since mid-May with a strained left achilles and a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Navarro has caddied for Argentinian Angel Cabrera four times since parting with Scott, also in May, but had declined to call that a fulltime assignment.
If Navarro were to land on Woods' bag when the 35-year-old golfer returns from his injuries as early as next month, it would be a matter of things coming full circle.
Navarro was asked about becoming Woods' caddie before Williams took the bag in March of 1999.
"I was approached by someone who said (the job) would be mine if I wanted it," Navarro said Wednesday evening. "But I was working for Greg Norman, and I felt like my loyalties were to him. That was a longstanding relationship with (Norman) that I am very proud of."
With Williams at his side, Woods went on to win 13 of his 14 major titles and scored 63wins on the PGA Tour and another eight world wide.
Get breaking news sent instantly to your inbox
Navarro was on Norman's bag for 10 Tour titles, including the 1993 British Open. Scott won 12 times around the world, five of those in the United States, after Norman convinced Navarro to take the young Aussie's bag in the spring of 2004.
Navarro began his caddying career at the 1978 Quad-Cities Open, shortly after graduating from Moline High School. He had fulltime assignments with Ben Crenshaw, Raymond Floyd and Jeff Sluman before he began a 12-year run with Norman in 1992.
Interestingly, Williams also caddied for Norman and Floyd before joining Woods. Williams also stood with Woods at his wedding to Elin Nordegren in 2004. Navarro was in Norman's wedding party when he married tennis star Chris Evert in 2008.
Woods has been engulfed in scandal since 2009, and was divorced from Nordegren last year after revelations of numerous affairs and a subsequent trip to a rehab clinic for a sexual addiction.
He has not won a PGA Tour event since that scandal began with a Thanksgiving night accident outside his Florida home in 2009 and has fallen to No. 20 in the world after a years-long run with the No. 1 ranking.
Navarro stressed Wednesday he had not yet been contacted by the golfer, but indicated he would be eager to help Woods regain his winning form.
"If it happens, it will be great," Navarro said. "I am certain things are going to go my way, somehow, someway."