ATLANTA, Georgia, August 10 – Adam Scott said caddie Steve Williams did not swipe the spotlight from a victory, but the Australian plans on having his clubs, not his bagman, do the talking this week at the PGA Championship.
Scott said Tuesday that he spoke with New Zealander Williams, fired last month by Tiger Woods after 12 years as his caddie, about comments made Sunday after Scott won the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.
Williams, 47, said it was “the best week of my life”, “most satisfying win”, adding, “I have been caddying for 33 years, 145 wins, and that’s the best win I’ve ever had,” and threw in, “I sort of believe in destiny sometimes”.
The subtle digs at Woods, the former World No. 1 now ranked 30th who won 13 of his 14 major titles with Williams as caddie, were one thing, but many saw it taking away from Scott’s performance.
“I certainly don’t think that was his intention, to steal my moment,” Scott said. “We’ve had our chat about the whole thing and he feels the way he feels.
“He said that was not his intention at all to do that but he was asked a question and he gave an honest answer. So I said that’s fair enough. Hopefully we’ll just go and let our clubs do the talking for the rest of the week now.”
Scott said the controversy received far more attention than it merited.
“With anything related to Tiger Woods, it’s all scrutinized and blown out of proportion a lot of the time. So this is no different,” Scott said.
“I just took what he said, again, as confidence for me. If he really feels that that was one of his great wins, then I’m kind of flattered and it fills me with confidence, and I think that’s what his intention is to be honest.”
The passion behind Williams’ words, Scott said, is just the sort of thing that he brings to their Trans-Tasman partnership.
“He was really excited to win. Obviously he had not won for a little while, and for him, he’s really passionate about it, and that’s what I see,” Scott said. “When you’re passionate and in that situation, it all got a little out of hand. He’s a driven guy. He’s motivated.
“I am a laid-back guy, but I do have the fire in my belly. But maybe he’s going to help keep it burning all the time. Right now he’s certainly bringing all of these things, and keeping me motivated, so we’re working well together.”
Rivals this week at Atlanta Athletic Club offered harsher opinions on Williams and his comments.
“Stevie is an over-exuberant sort of guy,” said British Open winner Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland. “Adam obviously played fantastic golf and I think if it had been my caddie he might have kept it a bit quieter.
“I’m sure Stevie didn’t mean any harm by it but he was just very excited to win with Adam… It’s knowing when to speak and when not to speak.”
World No. 1 Luke Donald of England said Williams would have been better worrying more about the man he was walking alongside now instead of jabbing at Woods.
“The only disappointing thing I found from it was there was no talk of how pleased he was about Adam winning,” Donald said. “If he had mentioned something about Adam, this wouldn’t have been an issue.”
He did not dismiss the value of a caddie in a partnership, however, noting, “If I thought my guy was carrying luggage, I wouldn’t pay him nearly as much as I am. They are helpful.”
Lee Westwood said his caddie, Yorkshireman Billy Foster, “interviews well” and saw the whole notion of putting Williams on television as farcical.
“I thought there was no relevance to the interview other than to have a good dig at Tiger Woods in the ribs,” Westwood said. “There’s obviously a bit of friction there.”
Scott stands by his new man, but there are some lengths to which he will not go. That includes wearing black, which he did last Sunday, to pay respect to New Zealand’s fabled rugby squad, the All-Blacks, the Aussie’s arch rivals.
“I’m never wearing black for New Zealand, that’s for sure,” Scott said.