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Golf Australia Express : Issue 16
TIGER WOODS and Steve Williams are not friends. Not any more. That much is clear. The latest remark from Woods’ former caddie at a function in China last week showed us a number of things: their split in June after 12 years and 13 major wins was far from amicable; bitterness is an ugly sight in golf; and Williams has little, if any, class at all. Referring to his former boss as a “black arsehole” at a caddie awards night has created a worldwide media storm threatening to overshadow the Australian Open and Presidents Cup events. While many might consider the latter word in the two-word phrase to be true, it’s the racial tone of the first that has ignited the hysteria. Williams issued an apology— of sorts—on his website the following day, although it appears now he did so reluctantly at the request of his new boss, Adam Scott. “I apologise for comments I made last night at the Annual Caddy Awards dinner in Shanghai,” the statement read. “Players and caddies look forward to this evening all year and the spirit is always joking and fun. I now realise how my comments could be construed as racist. However I assure you that was not my intent. I sincerely apologise to Tiger and anyone else I have offended.” Construed as racist? Not sure what else they could have been. Nevertheless, the furore has put Scott— who looked visibly troubled and out of his comfort zone when questioned about the incident—in an awkward position. The world No.8 is in career best form since the outspoken New Zealander picked up his bag mid-year. Surely those who suggested Scott should rid himself of Williams were doing so tongue-in-cheek—after all, why should his game suffer because of an employee’s loose tongue? Of course the irony of the whole saga is—aside from collateral-damaged Scott— Tiger’s the one who’s shown class since the split, only offering words of praise for Williams and his service over the years. He even told a media pack at an Australian Open press conference on Tuesday that while hurt by the comments, Williams was “certainly not a racist”. “It was a wrong thing to say. We’re moving forward. It was hurtful certainly, but life goes forward,” Woods said. “It is a comment that shouldn’t have been made and he certainly wishes he (NOT) A LONG TIME AGO WE USED TO BE FRIENDS... didn’t make it.” US captain Fred Couples was the latest to wage into the debate in defence of his mate Tiger (“the best player forever” no less): “If [Williams] was my caddie he would be gone by now,” Couples told reporters. “If he has that sort of anger for a pretty good guy, then I don’t want him around me.” While there are clearly problems with how Couples sees the world—we guess “good” is a subjective term anyway—his jab at Scott seems a tad harsh considering the company he’s defending. Of the lot, Scott is but an innocent bystander. FEUD THE TIGER VS STEVIE