Caddie's future lies in hands of former employer Woods



So it took the Australians, those masters of diplomacy, to ensure the outrage does not boil over on to the fairways. After the game's two most powerful executives allowed caddie Steve Williams to carry on regardless, after referring to Tiger Woods as "that black arsehole", the officials in Sydney vowed to do all they could to take the heat out of the race-row.

Woods arrives at The Lakes Club today for this week's Australian Open and it was widely expected that, in Thursday's first round, he would play with Adam Scott, the new boss of Williams, who rocked the sport with his outburst at a function here at the HSBC WGC Championship on Friday night. But the Australian Open's tournament director declared last night they would not allow the event to be hijacked by a controversial Woods-Williams pairing of sorts.

"No chance," Tony Roosenburg said. "Tiger and Adam would not have been playing together anyway. The players will not be distracted."

Roosenburg was, however, honest enough to admit the tournament office has not been filled exclusively with angst these past few days. There has been plenty of excitement as well since Williams caused outrage when explaining on stage at a caddies awards night why he was so animated after his first win with Scott. "My aim was to shove it up that black arsehole," Williams said.

"I don't think it's doing the Open any harm," Roosenberg said. "Certainly not – it's adding another dimension. Was I looking for this sort of build-up? No, but you take it when you can get it. The media conference with Woods will now be bigger than it was already."

Woods will speak to the press late tonight and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say about Williams's comments and, indeed, about the reactions of Scott and golf's authorities. Yesterday, Tim Finchem, the commissioner of the US Tour, and George O'Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, released a joint statement which accepted Williams's apology on his website as sanction enough.

"The International Federation of PGA Tours feels strongly there is no place for any form of racism in ours or any other sport," they said. "We consider the remarks of Steve Williams, as reported, entirely unacceptable in whatever context. We are aware that he has apologised fully and we trust we will not hear such remarks again. Based on this, we consider the matter closed, and we will have no further comment."

Their verdict baffled many. It must be presumed the Tours feel "strongly" about racist remarks – but not strongly enough to administer any punishment. The Tours have the power and mechanisms to ban Williams. Scott welcomed the decision not to and seemed angry and bemused when he was asked whether he was effectively condoning the racial slur by not dismissing Williams.

"I had Steve issue an apology," the Australian said. "What more was I supposed to do?" That was interesting as it meant that even the extent of Williams's contrition is now dubious. "Look, I don't think digging for a story out of me on this is a very good idea," Scott said.

There was no digging required; Fred Couples made sure of it. The major champion is the US captain in next week's Presidents Cup match against the International team in Melbourne. Woods and Scott are on opposite teams and, as Scott insists Williams will remain as his caddie, there is a fair chance the pair will come face-to-face. Thus, the equivalent of the Ryder Cup would be upstaged.

Couples believes Scott should not even allow this to be a possibility. "If that was my caddie he wouldn't be caddying for me today," Couples said. "You read [Williams's comments] and you say: 'Those aren't comical'."

Scott, however, believes they were part of a "humorous evening", the content of which "should never have left the room". That is, despite there being more than 200 people in a crowd containing some of the world's best players, as well as members of the media and top golfing officials and employees of the sponsor, HSBC.

Woods is known to be "disappointed" and, if he reveals at the press conference that he was offended, then the pressures on Scott and the powers-that-be will intensify to extremely persuasive levels. Whether Williams likes it or not, the probability is that his future rests in the hands of his former employer.

Woods was due this morning to play at a corporate day in Melbourne in the company of Shane Warne and his fiancée Liz Hurley and will afterwards open Warne's new bar. Then, he will travel to Sydney to a players' cocktail party at The Lakes. Scott will be there. They could share a lively discussion.


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon


Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London