Steve Williams rips Tiger Woods
Steve Williams, who lashed out at Tiger Woods this summer after Woods fired him as his caddie, took another shot at his former boss on Friday when asked for an explanation for his high-profile celebration after winning with Australian golfer Adam Scott.
"It was my aim to shove it up that black arse----," Williams said at a caddie awards dinner, according to British newspapers that reported on the event held in Shanghai in conjunction with the HSBC Champions.
According to the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, Williams was receiving a tongue-in-cheek award for "celebration of the year" after gloating about his victory with Scott at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in August.
Williams apologized on his website Friday.
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Stevie Williams shouldn't expect a free ride for using language that is racially insensitive, but his comments shouldn't overshadow the Australian Open or the Presidents Cup, writes ESPN.com's Farrell Evans. Column
"I apologize for comments I made last night at the Annual Caddy Awards dinner in Shanghai," Williams' statement 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 have offended."
Woods, playing Saturday in a private event in Perth, Australia, wouldn't discuss Williams' comments.
Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, issued a statement Friday.
"I was with Tiger when the story broke. We were obviously not there, but if all the reports are accurate, it is regrettable. Really nothing more to say," Steinberg said.
The Daily Mail quoted an unnamed caddie who said: "Never have you been in a room and seen so many jaws drop at the same time. We knew he (Williams) 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.' "
Several media outlets reported the comments, though they were not at the private function; media in attendance were invited under the premise that any comments made were off the record, with players and caddies alike taking some good-natured ribbing.
The HSBC Champions is sanctioned by both the European Tour and PGA Tours. If a PGA Tour member wins the World Golf Championship event, it counts as an official victory.
Williams' venom toward Woods stems from his firing this summer, which was announced after the British Open. That led to the veteran caddie unloading on Woods after Scott's victory at the Bridgestone, played in Akron, Ohio.
After the tournament, Williams described it as "the best victory of my life," despite having been a caddie for more than 100 wins, including 13 of Woods' 14 major championships.
Williams had taken issue with the way he was let go by Woods after 12 years of service, especially after the New Zealand native maintained that he stood by his employer in the aftermath of extramarital affairs that put his golf career on hold.
This year, Williams sought permission to caddie for Scott while Woods took a lengthy break due to knee and Achilles injuries suffered at the Masters. He worked for Scott at the U.S. Open and again at the AT&T National, a tournament that Woods hosts. It was there Woods informed Williams of his release, although the news wasn't announced until after the British Open.
Woods sought to diffuse the situation a week following the Bridgestone at the PGA Championship and Williams also backed off, saying that he was "emotional" in the aftermath of Scott's victory.
"When we were coming down the stretch and all those people were calling out my name, I mean, I've never experienced anything like that," Williams said. "And when Adam won, all of a sudden that emotion poured out. But it's time to move on. The Tiger thing is over."
That is unlikely to be the case now. Woods is scheduled to play in next week's Australian Open, where Scott also will be a participant. They also will be on opposing teams the following week at the Presidents Cup.
The dinner in Shanghai was attended by more than 100 people, according to the Telegraph, including several players. It was Scott, according to the Daily Mail, who encouraged his caddie to attend what was considered to be a private function. The newspaper also speculated that Williams had not expected his comments to be reported.
Williams went to work for Woods in spring 1999 and was on Woods' bag for more than 60 worldwide wins -- the last coming two years ago in Australia.
But he also had several high-profile run-ins with fans and photographers, and typically does not comment to the media.
Bob Harig is a golf writer for ESPN.com.