Steve Williams Calls Tiger Woods A Black Asshole

Posted: November 6, 2011 in Golf

Steve Williams ripped into his old boss with a racial slur that caused even more commotion involving the jilted caddie and golf’s biggest name. “He’s a character within the game of golf, and whatever bitterness that exists between him and Tiger should be in the past by now,” said Graeme McDowell, one of several players at the party. “It’s unfortunate that it’s going to rear it’s head again.” Williams, still angered over getting fired by Woods this summer, was working for Adam Scott when he won the Bridgestone Invitational. That tournament also was the first time Woods played since splitting with his caddie. An emotionally charged Williams gave a TV interview on the 18th green and called it “the best win of my life,” even though he had been on the bag for 13 majors with Woods.

On Friday night, the host called Williams to the stage to collect his 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 asshole.” On a night filled with banter and off-color 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 apologizing to Woods. That was good enough for Scott, who said he had no plans to fire his caddie. During an event in New Zealand in December 2008, he made news for comments about Phil Mickelson. According to The Guardian newspaper of Britain he said, “I wouldn’t call Mickelson a great player, ’cause I hate the prick”. In a next-day interview with another newspaper, the New Zealand-based Star Times, Williams also said, “I don’t particularly like the guy. He pays me no respect at all and hence I don’t pay him any respect. It’s no secret we don’t get along either.”

Williams is most known for having served as Tiger Woods’ caddy from 1999 to 2011. Woods was the top-ranked golfer in the world for much of Williams’ tenure as caddy. He received his first break as a caddy in 1976, when his father arranged for him to carry the bags of Australian great Peter Thomson in the New Zealand Open. Thomson, who finished third, was impressed with the young Williams, who became his regular caddy when he played in New Zealand. The teenaged Williams also traveled to Australia on school breaks to caddy in tournaments there. In 1979, before he turned 16, he left school and moved to Europe to become a caddy on the European Tour.Williams spent much of the next decade caddying on almost all of the world’s major professional tours. He got steady work with several Australian pros, among them Ian Baker-Finch. During this time, he met Greg Norman, and in 1982 became Norman’s regular caddy in all his events in Asia and Australia, as well as some European events. In 1988, Williams moved to the United States to become Norman’s full-time caddy. However, Norman would fire him in 1989. Williams admitted later that he had gotten too close personally to Norman. Nonetheless, the two remain good friends, and Norman later admitted he had made a mistake and tried to rehire him several years later. Williams would not long stay unemployed, as Raymond Floyd hired him shortly after Norman let him go. He continued to carry Floyd’s bag on both the regular and senior U.S. tours until 1999.

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. 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.”

Hours later, Williams posted a comment on his website. “I apologize 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.”

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Comments
  1. […]  Steve Williams: Tiger Woods’ ex-caddie couldn’t get enough air-time this year. From belittling the dozens of tournaments Woods won (and the riches the remora siphoned from the legendary golfer for a decade), to gossiping about […]

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