Steve Williams, Tiger Woods’ former caddie has apologized for causing outrage at annual Caddie Awards dinner in Shanghai when he made a racist remark about his former boss.
Steve Williams, a 47 year-old New Zealander, was given an award for the year’s best celebration – a reference to his tongue-in-cheek claim that his current employer Adam Scott’s victory at the Bridgestone Invitational in August was “the best win of my career” – despite being on the bag with Woods for 13 majors.
Asked what the celebration was all about, Steve Williams said: “It was my aim to shove it right up that black a**ehole.”
Steve Williams‘ comment was met with a mixture of laughter and shock at the ceremony, with some players turning to each other with eyes widened and jaws agape.
One caddie said: “Never have you been in a room and seen so many jaws drop at the same time. We knew he was an idiot but we didn’t know he was a racist idiot. I was standing next to a European Tour official who said, <<Thank God he is not on our tour>>.”
Approached early the next morning at breakfast, Steve Williams was stunned to learn that British tabloids had gone with the story.
“Why would they do that?” he said.
“The whole thing was meant to be fun.”
Steve Williams then posted a statement on his website saying: “I apologize for the comments I made last night at the annual Caddie Awards dinner in Shanghai.
“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 have offended.”
The 100 caddies, players and guests in attendance had accepted their invitations on the condition they did not disclose what happened at the ceremony, held after the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament.
Mark Steinberg, Tiger Woods’ agent at Excel Sports Management, was with the golfer when he heard the news.
Mark Steinberg said: “It’s a regrettable comment, and there’s really nothing that Tiger can do or say. He’s just going to move on.”
Steve Williams, who could now face a ban or even the sack, had been a regular caddie for Tiger Woods since 1999 and helped the American to 13 majors before being fired in July.
Steve Williams hit out at the manner of the split and a month later was in the news again after his new employer, Adam Scott, won the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Akron, Ohio.
The caddie had told reporters: “It’s the most satisfying win I’ve ever had, there’s no two ways about it. It’s the greatest week of my life caddying and I sincerely mean that.”
Steve Williams later apologized for those comments, saying his emotions got the better of him.
He has disputed Tiger Woods’ version of how their partnership ended, and said he was short-shrifted by Woods despite his loyalty to the former No. 1 player during the sex scandal that derailed his career.
Adam Scott is today preparing for his third round of the HSBC Champions. He is going for his second World Golf Championship of the year.
Tiger Woods and Adam Scott are to be in the same group next week at the Australian Open, and there’s chance they also could face off at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne the week after.
But this was not the first time Steve Williams has run into trouble for his words.
In 2008, at a dinner banquet in New Zealand, Steve Williams made a disparaging remark about Phil Mickelson.
He said it was meant in fun, although he later apologized to Phil Mickelson.