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Williams Gets Reprimand
Steve Williams' cavalier comments about his old boss Tiger Woods during the Annual Caddy Awards last week have been condemned by International Federation of PGA Tours.
The federation released a statement by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and his European Tour counterpart George O'Grady after Sunday's final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai that said: "The International Federation of PGA Tours feels strongly there is no place for any form of racism in ours or any other sport. We consider the remarks of Steve Williams, as reported, entirely unacceptable in whatever context.
"We are aware that he has apologized fully, and we trust we will not hear such remarks ever again. Based on this, we consider the matter closed, and we will have no further comment."
Williams stirred controversy after receiving a mock award Friday night for the "Celebration of the Year" for his TV interview after his new and current boss Adam Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational earlier this year. At the time Williams called it "the best win of his life," despite being Tiger Woods' caddie for dozens of wins - including 13 of his 14 major titles - over a 13-year period.
At an awards party filled with banter, Williams said of his interview, "It was my aim to shove it right up that black a------." The line drew laughter and shock. Hours later, Williams posted a comment on his website that read, "I apologize for comments I made last night at the Annual Caddy Awards 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've offended."
The next day, Scott seemed unfazed after the incident, noted that his third round wasn't affected. "A 69 didn't distract me too badly in the end today," Scott said, adding that he was satisfied with Williams' apology and had no plans to fire him.
When later asked whether Williams would be on his bag for the Australian Open and then the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, Scott said, "absolutely.
"I don't see it being an issue moving forward," he added. "From my side of things and my team, the matter has been put to bed, and I've got nothing more to talk about it with anyone, so I'm moving on."
The PGA Tour could have suspended Williams, according to Ty Votaw, executive vice president of communications and international affairs, but instead issued the joint statement. Scott agreed that the public reprimand and Williams' apology were ample.
On Tuesday, Woods received a personal apology from Williams. The two met and shook hands at The Lakes Golf Club ahead of the Australian Open in Sydney, which starts Thursday at the course. Woods said Williams' remark "was hurtful . . . the wrong thing to say, and something that he has acknowledged. Stevie is not a racist."
Woods will be paired with Aussies Jason Day and Robert Allenby in the first round, with Scott playing with Matt Kuchar and John Senden in the group ahead.