Stevie Williams probably thought he was safely on the other side of the world when he told a New Zealand charity event audience that he didn’t get along with Phil Mickelson because Mickelson is a “prick.”
But in these days of Twitter, Facebook and Blogger — as well as talk radio and TV shows where sportswriters yell at each other — anything Woods’s caddie says about his boss gets sent 'round the world almost instantly, especially when Williams sheds light on the famously prickly relationship between the game’s biggest stars.
According to Lawrence Donegan in The Guardian, Williams concedes he did bash Mickelson at a charity event, as first reported by Murray Hills of The Taranaki Daily News. Williams admitted yesterday he had indeed called Mickelson a "prick" and added, "I don't particularly like the guy [Mickelson]. He pays me no respect at all and hence I don't pay him any respect. It's no secret we don't get along either."The sedate world of professional golf is unused to such unvarnished opinions being thrown around in public and Mickelson made his unhappiness clear. "After seeing Steve Williams' comments all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones (his caddie, Jim Mackay) on my bag and representing me," the American left-hander said. Mickelson also took issue with an unflattering story Williams told about Mickelson, calling the incident untrue. Tiger Woods has not commented on the spat, but he's certain to face questions about it at his Chevron World Challenge tournament later this week. Donegan speculates that Woods is unhappy with his caddie's comments (no doubt) and that Williams could be in trouble with his boss (no way). So far Woods has not commented on the spat between his greatest rival and his bagman, although he has a history of seeking to avoid what he deems to be non-golf related publicity. He also has a history of dealing harshly with employees who displease him. While Williams will likely get an earful from Team Tiger, Woods mainly cares about winning majors, and if he has the best chance to win with Williams on his bag, that's where Williams will stay. Tiger Tracker | Tiger's Enemies and Rivals | Tiger's 2008 Season | Phil's 2008 Season