published Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Caddie's flak: 'Emotion' spurred Williams

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Adam Scott may have been a little upset with caddie Steve Williams.

But not mad enough to publicly chastise the most famous caddie in the world, who earned that distinction by carrying Tiger Woods' clubs in 72 of Woods' tournament wins, including 13 major titles.

Williams stole the spotlight from Scott's Bridgestone Invitational win Sunday by answering questions for about five minutes, taking slight digs at his former employer and putting the focus on himself instead of praising Scott and his four-shot margin of victory. Williams said last week was the "most satisfying" in his 33 years as a caddie.

Scott and his new looper had a simple conversation. And the golfer said he hopes something else will speak louder this week at the PGA Championship -- his clubs.

"We've had our chat about the whole thing, and he feels the way he feels," Scott said. "I just took what he said as confidence for me. If he really feels that that was one of his greatest wins, then I'm flattered and it fills me with confidence."

Scott all but brushed it off Tuesday and explained that Williams expressed his opinion and vented frustration.

"I certainly don't think it was his intention to steal my moment at all," Scott said. "He was asked these questions and he gave his honest answer, I assume.

"And with a lot of things to do anything related to Tiger Woods, it's all scrutinized and blown out of proportion. So this is no different, and he said that was not his intention."

Williams stuck with Woods through Tiger's personal crisis and injury before their ugly divorce within the last six weeks.

They worked together -- and were in each other's weddings -- for 12 historic years, during which Williams became the only caddie anybody at Bud's on Brainerd could name in a trivia contest.

It's that Woods-to-Williams-to-Scott connection that interests golf fans and made other golfers take note.

"I think Stevie was given the opportunity to talk and he had the right to say what he wanted," said Luke Donald, the No. 1 ranked player in the world. "The only disappointing thing that I found personally from it was there was not talk about how pleased he was about Adam winning.

"I think if he had mentioned something about Adam, this wouldn't have been an issue."

Tuesday, Williams sounded as if he had a bit of regret.

"It's very unusual for TV to put a microphone in front of a caddie's face," he told the Associated Press. "There was a lot of emotion and anger that came out. It wasn't meant to offend anyone."

It's that Williams spoke publicly for more than a few minutes that gave Lee Westwood a strong opinion on golf's latest soap opera.

"I thought there was no relevance to the interview other than to have a good dig at Tiger Woods in the ribs," Westwood said. "It's blatantly obvious that he's a fantastic caddie, because he's won with all different kinds of players. I just don't see the point of putting him on TV."

An old adage, as World Golf Hall of Fame player Curtis Strange described it, is for caddies to show up, keep up and shut up.

"I understand where players are coming from, but I'm a little upset by what some of them said because they have no idea what I've been through," Williams told the AP. "But I didn't mean to cause anyone harm. There was just a lot of emotion."

Perhaps Williams' passion or expertise stirred Scott to victory. And perhaps it will happen again for Scott either this week in a major or any number of tournaments down the line.

"He's had quite an insight into my game from the get-go of what he's seen and what he believes I need to do to be a bit better and win majors and contend in majors on a regular basis," Scott said. "He's very motivated and he absolutely brings that. And you know, I am a laid-back guy, but I do have that fire in my belly.

"Maybe he's going to help keep it burning all the time."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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