Caddie backs Augusta crowd to respect Woods

Tiger Woods will be judged by his golf rather than taunted for his extra-marital affairs when he returns to action at next week's US Masters, according to his caddie Steve Williams.

New Zealander Williams told TVNZ on Tuesday that the crowd at Augusta National would be too respectful to barrack Woods who has admitted he was nervous about the reception he would receive after his four-month break from the game.



"They (Augusta) are very specific with whoever they let in there, so they are genuine golf fans," said Williams.



"I don't really expect any of those people having any problems. I think they will be very happy to see Tiger playing at Augusta where he's been successful."



Woods, 34, has not played this year following revelations that he had a string of affairs. The world number one, a four-time Masters champion, has said he is undergoing therapy for sex addiction.



"The people that are going to watch Augusta, they call them patrons there not spectators. They are all golf fans and it is a very difficult tournament to get in," added Williams.



"It is the only golf tournament in the world there is waiting list to get in to."



Williams, hired in 1999 by Woods who has since won 13 of his 14 major titles, said the big challenge for his boss was simply concentrating on his game.



"Just focus, I think that is going to be the big thing," he said. "Tiger hasn't played competitively in four months, hasn't played any warm-up tournaments going into a major championship.



"They (majors) are difficult tournaments at the best of the times so having not played a practice tournament or a pre-tournament, it is going to be difficult.



"So just to keep his focus on what we are doing, that is going to be the foremost thing in my mind," he said.



Williams, looking relaxed and tanned in a T-shirt bearing the insignia of Woods's sponsors, said the player's two recent televised interviews show his readiness to return to action.



"Basically, I think his intention is that he is getting himself ready to play. Tiger doesn't play in golf tournaments unless he believes he can win.



"By granting those media interviews and taking those questions about the Masters indicates to me that he really is getting ready and feels like he is going to be able to compete," he said.



"Every player has got a view of that differently but Tiger's key strength as we all know is his mental strength and he is going to need it all through this period. I believe going back to his Buddhism is going to help that," he added.



Woods will face the media on Monday next week, a departure from his usual Tuesday news conference, before the start of the year's first major.



He will be the only player to hold a news conference on that day, according to a schedule released by Masters officials.



The world number one has not competed since his victory at the Australian Masters on Nov. 15.



The Masters runs from April 8-11.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home