(CNN) -- New Zealand caddie Steve Williams said Thursday he is disappointed and shocked that he was fired by Tiger Woods, especially after his loyalty to the golfer during his sex scandal.
"Given the fact of my loyalty and the way that I stood by this guy through thick and thin ..." Williams told CNN affiliate Mediaworks in New Zealand. "And the timing of it is very poor, from my perspective."
Williams said the sex scandal made him lose respect for Woods.
"Well, I think when you're great friends with somebody and a situation like this occurs, you obviously lose some kind of respect," he said.
Woods announced earlier this week that he would no longer be working with Williams, severing their 12-year relationship.
"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it's time for a change," Woods said.
"Stevie is an outstanding caddie and a friend, and has been instrumental in many of my accomplishments. I wish him great success in the future."
The pair joined forces in March 1999 when Woods had won just one major title, and since then they have flourished as a partnership, claiming 13 majors as well as a remarkable 50 other PGA Tour titles.
Woods, 35, who has not decided on a replacement, missed the British Open last week with knee and Achilles injuries. He also missed the U.S. Open last month.
He had been out of action for two months before the British Open, initially suffering the injuries at the Masters in April before withdrawing after nine holes of the Players Championship at Sawgrass in mid-May.
The American has not won a tournament since the Australian Masters in November 2009, just before the well-publicized sex scandal came to light.