Tiger team hit back after Williams' day in spotlight
Tiger Woods has heard quite enough bitterness from his former caddie, Steve Williams. Yesterday Team Tiger struck back, vehemently denying the Kiwi's claims that Woods lied when telling the press he had sacked Williams "face to face".
Williams made the assertion after the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, which was won by his new employer, Adam Scott. Not content to take a swipe at Woods on national TV by calling it "the greatest week of my life" – discounting the 13 majors he won with Woods in the process – Williams later dropped a further bombshell to journalists.
At last Tuesday's press conference, The Independent asked Woods whether he had fired Williams "face to face". "Yes," replied Woods, before explaining how he had summoned Williams at the end of last month's AT&T National and did it "man to man". "That is incorrect," said Williams, who also claimed he had been dismissed because he dared to caddie for Scott while Woods was injured. "I was told on the phone we needed to take a break. And in caddie lingo, that means you're fired. Simple as that."
That plainly infuriated the Woods camp, with his manager, Mark Steinberg contacting EPSN. "Tiger flew from Florida to Philly to visit AT&T National and also for the express purpose of personally and officially telling Steve that they would no longer be working together," he said. "Tiger felt strongly about meeting face to face. Any assertions to the contrary are simply false."
The dispute is sure to rumble on as the circus arrives here for the USPGA Championship. While the crowd at Firestone were chanting Williams' name as Scott strode out for a four-shot victory over Luke Donald, the general reaction within the game was bemusement that Williams had thrust himself forward to steal the spotlight. After earning more than twice as much as Woods in Ohio (his 10 per cent of the $1.4m [£855,000] winning cheque, eclipsing Woods's $58,500 for finishing 37th), the 47-year-old talked of being "a great front-runner" and said: "I have won again."
Christina Kim, the LPGA pro, was the most fervent objector. "Steve surely doesn't seem bitter at all," tweeted Kim. "Greatest week of my life. Good job congratulating Adam, who hit the shots, you knob." Other caddies were also incredulous, one telling The Independent: "We're not supposed to be the superstars, are we?" Paul Azinger, the former Ryder Cup captain, accused Williams of "breaking the unwritten rule of caddies not talking to the media".
Because of that there was to be little anger on behalf of the media. "I guess caddying for Tiger, I've probably been a bit unfair to the media sometimes," he told the scrum of journalists behind the 18th green. "I realise I owe you guys something, so it's no problem."
Will it be a problem for Williams? Only if Scott is annoyed. And the Australian is famously laid-back. Woods gives his next press conference tomorrow, but Scott, the freshly minted world No 9, will not be watching. "I'm not involved in it at all," he said, "and they know that I'm just out here to do my job. They'll figure that out themselves. They're both men."
Out Of Bounds: Caddie faces backlash
Twitter's golfers were less than impressed with Steve Williams' outburst:
Williams breaks the unwritten caddy rule, by talking to the press. Most don't, a few do at times when appropriate. #notapopularguy
(Paul Azinger, former US Ryder Cup captain)
Steve Williams new book out this week "My 13 Majors and How Tiger Helped Me get Them"
(Parker McLachlin, US Tour golfer)
Steve Williams surely doesn't seem bitter at all. 'Greatest week of my life.' Good job congratulating Adam, who hit the shots, you knob.
(Christina Kim, LPGA golfer)
And from the football world...
I bet Steve Williams had planned that interview on 18th tee! Poor effort when the fame and fortune he has was down to Tiger.
(Michael Owen, Man U striker)
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
Sami Khedira transfer news: Arsenal can win the Premier League if they sign Khedira in January, says Perry Groves
Manchester City vs Manchester United analysis: Manuel Pellegrini has no excuse for City's lack of a Plan B, writes Danny Higginbotham
Chelsea injury list: Loic Remy lead the Blues' absent players while Diego Costa is set to return
Radamel Falcao: Manchester United ready to seal permanent transfer of striker as 'everything is complete' to extend his Old Trafford stay
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything