Caddie Steve Williams called the backlash over the racially insensitive remarks he made about his former boss Tiger Woods over the weekend "absolutely ridiculous" in an interview with New Zealand's Newstalk ZB radio on Monday morning.
"It's kind of like a locker room environment—everyone's just having a good time. My comments were by no means the worst comments that were passed. There was a lot of profanity and a lot of other kind of remarks, but just because I make a remark regarding my former employer, it gets blown way out of proportion and it's absolutely ridiculous."
During a caddie banquet in Shanghai, Williams was asked on stage why he gloated following Adam Scott's victory at the Bridgestone Invitational shortly after Woods fired Williams. He replied, "My aim was to shove it right up that black a——!" In the radio interview, Williams disagreed that "all the jaws dropped at the same time" as some reports said, and he cited a "difference of opinion" between those present at the banquet and media reports afterward.
"It was a fun sort of thing and everyone laughed their heads off. So, I mean, what you read is absolutely ridiculous."
According to a statement on his website, Williams's boss Adam Scott considers the "matter closed" and "will not be making any further comment" on the controversy surrounding his caddie. Greg Norman says Steve Williams is not a racist Greg Norman said that his former caddie Steve Williams is not a racist, but that Williams's remarks about Tiger Woods in Shanghai were "stupid." Speaking with The Telegraph (UK), Norman said:
"Steve's not a racist, not at all. We've all made stupid comments at stupid times, unfortunately his stupid comment became global news and I know he probably regrets it.”
"But I guarantee you in that room, that night, there were some heavier things said."
"Because of the temperature of what was going on between the two of them, anything that was said was going to exacerbate that feeling. I hope it gets resolved. Golf doesn't need it, golf needs Tiger back playing great golf the way he used to.”
Norman is also openly supporting Adam Scott’s decision to keep Williams on his bag for the Australian Open and Presidents Cup and he doesn’t believe there will be any issues between Woods and Scott.
"Adam's a professional. Whatever Steve said was Steve's opinion, not Adam's.”
"Steve obviously does a great job for Adam because Adam's been playing some great golf since Steve's been on his bag. I don't think there's any issue between Tiger and Adam at all.
And Norman doesn't expect fireworks when Woods and Williams eventually come face to face at either the Australian Open or President’s Cup.
"Does he [Tiger] like to hear the things that run around? No, of course he doesn't but he's a strong-minded professional and I don't see him having problems with it at all.”
"He'll walk by Steve and who knows what happens? He'll have prepared himself in his mind much as Steve has prepared himself in his mind so … it's all done, it's been said, it's in the past."
Tiger is scheduled to speak at a press conference in Sydney at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time on Monday (10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Syndey time). Tiger and Scott to be kept apart at Australian Open
Unwilling to let the Australian Open turn into a “sideshow,” GOLF Australia officials have announced that they are consciously keeping Tiger Woods away from Adam Scott and caddie Steve Williams when they sit down to make the pairings for the event. Brent Read of The Australian has the story:
Golf Australia had already made the decision to keep Woods and Scott apart when they sit down to make their pairings for the opening two rounds of the Open, fearing Williams's presence would turn the entire event into a sideshow. There may be no avoiding it now.
"It's such a great field," Golf Australia chief executive Steve Pitt said. "It's such a deep field. There are so many really good players who are playing. I don't think it will become too much of a distraction.
"Certainly, once the tournament starts, it will look after itself. There has never been any plan to play Tiger and Adam together.”
Reports indicate that Tiger hit the ball well after playing two corporate events in Perth and Melbourne. Pitt is hoping that Woods's strong play follows him to Sydney.
"The people who have played with him say that he's driving the ball really well. They're all expecting him to play really well in tournaments again. We're hopeful he will do that."
"It would be a huge result if he was to win the Australian Open for him and for the tournament to add him to that list of winners. I think the next time he wins is going to be a big deal, no matter whether it's here or somewhere else."