Tiger gets bitch-slapped on the 18th hole
Remember Tiger’s wife brandishing a 9-iron as she chased him down the street like a madwoman? Well, he’s just been clobbered again, only this time the aggressor was his former caddie Steve Williams, whose weapon of choice was words.
A lot of people don’t care for golf, and fair enough. They’re just not interested in grown men in silly clothes with an unnatural obsession with balls and holes. Read into that line what you will.
But what happened on the golf course this weekend was so much more than mere golf. This was cold revenge. This was Robin teaching Batman about crime fighting and going home with Batwoman to boot. Here’s what went down…
Australia’s best golfer Adam Scott won a thing called the Bridgestone Invitational, which is one of the biggest tournaments in the world outside the four “Majors”. His caddie was Woods’ old boy Steve Williams.
Afterwards, Williams said the win was “the highlight of his career”. For real. He actually said that. Thirteen Major wins carrying the bag for Tiger, scores of wins elsewhere and he said this one was the best. Ouch. Pass the Dettol.
And just in case you think that was a throwaway line, here’s the Williams fury in full:
“I have been caddying for more than 30 years now. I have won 145 times and that is the best win of my life,” he deadpanned.
“It’s the greatest week of my life caddying, and I sincerely mean that.”
Better bring some industrial-strength bandages too. That Williams is one angry Kiwi.
Some background to this soap opera: Williams caddied for Scott at this year’s US Open in July, when Tiger was injured. Woods had a hissy fit and dumped his long term bag-carrier, even though Williams had asked Tiger for permission.
The thing is, Tiger didn’t just miss that US Open. He’d been off the scene for the best part of two years with injuries, marital woes and the rest of it. You’d think Williams was entitled to earn a living. Not according to Tiger, he wasn’t.
Williams is New Zealand’s richest sportsman – his hefty fortune earned largely off the back of his 10 per cent cut of Tiger’s winnings. But there’s no doubt the man has serious golfing nous. A smart caddie like him is invaluable in guiding a golfer around a course.
Scott expressed exactly that yesterday when he said: “He really guided me around the course nicely. When he needed to step in and just make a point of where we need to be, he did, and had some great little notes in his book about putts on greens.”
So Scott wins, aided by Williams’ course knowledge. And Williams uses the occasion to slam Tiger, who finished tied for 37th, 18 strokes behind Scott.
Williams has always cut an imposing figure. Watching him and Tiger go around Melbourne’s Kingston Heath at the Australian Masters in 2009, it became obvious that crowd control is his specialty.
Other caddies are almost invisible. Not Williams. Blink an eyelid when Tiger is lining up a putt and he gave you the death stare. Get too close and he walked up with those long, tanned Kiwi legs and the crowd shuffled back in fear. If the man didn’t know golf, you’d hire him as a bouncer in an instant.
Steve Williams is also a successful race car driver, but may or may not be a nice bloke. He has a habit of talking about his love of winning in a ruthless, egotistical Charlie Sheen kind of way. The man is anything but modest.
But yesterday, you couldn’t help cheering for him as he took Tiger down yet another notch.
That’s not to knock Tiger, who is far from the worst person in the world. But what it does show is that Woods still has a siege mentality. Every public apology he’s made since his multiple sex scandals has seemed fake, every outing on the golf course has been tortured, every public act has been sour.
In the eyes of Tiger, the world is out to get him. That’s not actually true, though it clearly is in the case of his former caddie, who may yet propel our own Adam Scott to the very much up-for-grabs World Number One spot.
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