Tiger Woods’s former caddie Steve Williams said comments he made about the golfer during an awards dinner could be “construed as racist” and apologized.
Williams, who was fired by Woods during the summer, made the remarks at the event attended by caddies and players in Shanghai last night.
“Players and caddies look forward to this evening all year and the spirit is always joking and fun,” the New Zealander said in a statement on his website. “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.”
Williams received a mock award at the dinner for “Celebration of the Year” for a television interview after his current boss Adam Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational in August, according the Daily Telegraph in London. During the TV interview he called the victory the best of his life, even though he carried Woods’s bag for 13 major championships.
Woods is in Australia and his agent Mark Steinberg told the Associated Press the former top-ranked golfer got “multiple calls” from people who sounded like they were at the party.
“Tiger obviously wasn’t there,” Steinberg told AP. “He doesn’t know exactly what was said. But if multiple reports -- which all seem to be accurate -- are true, then it’s sad it’s come down to this. It’s a regrettable comment and there’s really nothing that Tiger can do or say. He’s just going to move on.”
Woods split with Williams in July after 13 years and 72 tournament victories, saying it was “time for a change.” Williams said the dismissal came as a shock.
Williams now works for Scott, who is in third place, three shots behind Fredrik Jacobson after three rounds of the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.
Woods hired Joe LaCava, who previously worked for Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, in September. LaCava is the third full-time caddie of Woods’s career after Williams and Mike “Fluff” Cowan, who was on the bag for the American’s first major victory at the 1997 Masters Tournament.
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