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Woods and Williams to be kept apart in Australia

Tiger will face the press in Oz for the first time since his former caddies ill-judged comments on Friday night.

Adam Scott of Australia, right, listens to Steve Williams on the second tee during the third round in Shanghai.
Adam Scott of Australia, right, listens to Steve Williams on the second tee during the third round in Shanghai.
Image: PA images

AFTER A WEEKEND of more controversy, Tiger Woods will tonight face the press in Australia.

For once, the former world No 1 doesn’t have explaining to do but will surely face questions about racially-charged comments from his former caddie Steve Williams.

New Zealander Williams made the remark about Woods at a caddies’ awards dinner in Shanghai last Friday.

He ripped into his old boss with a racial slur that caused even more commotion involving the jilted caddie and golf’s biggest name.

Discussing  carrying the bag for Australian Adam Scott at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament having parted company with Woods in July, he had told the audience that the aim of his celebration when Scott won a world championship in August was “to shove it right up that black a*******”.

The Daily Mail report this morning that tournament chiefs will keep Woods and Scott – and by extension Williams – being paired for the opening two rounds of the tournament in Sydney.

On Friday night, the host called Williams to the stage to collect an award and asked him to explain his enthusiasm. Williams, with a smirk on his face, leaned toward the microphone and said, “It was my aim to shove it right up that black a——.”

On a night filled with banter and off-colour remarks, this one was a show-stopper. Heads turned, eyes widened and jaws dropped amid a mixture of shock and laughter.

Williams later issued a statement apologising to Woods. That was good enough for Scott, who said he had no plans to fire his caddie.

“I think everything in that room last night was all in good spirits and for a bit of fun,” Scott said after his third round Saturday at the HSBC Champions. “And I think it probably got taken out of that room in the wrong context.”

Even as players and caddies spilled into the bar, they couldn’t stop talking about it — some because of the racial overtones, some because of how Williams so openly showed his disdain for Woods.

The ground rules for the roast is that everything is off the record, yet this was bound to get out.

A group of British reporters returning from a night out in Shanghai were at the hotel bar when at least one caddie told them what was said. Williams was stunned the next morning to learn that his comments had been published.

“Why would they do that?” he said. “The whole thing was meant to be fun.”

He shook his head and walked away without wanting to say more. Hours later, Williams posted a comment on his website.

“I apologise for comments I made last night at the Annual Caddy Awards dinner in Shanghai,” it said. “Players and caddies look forward to this evening all year, and the spirit is always joking and fun. I now realize how my comments could be construed as racist. However, I assure you that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to Tiger and anyone else I’ve offended.”

Woods was in Australia, though it didn’t take long for the comments to get back to him. The golf word will learn his reaction tonight.

No sanctions for Williams

Kaymer claims HSBC crown, McIlroy climbs to no. 2 in the world

- additional reporting AP

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