Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Tiger Woods said he was surprised by former caddie Steve Williams’s reaction to winning a tournament with a different golfer, while refusing to criticize him directly.
Woods, addressing the situation for the first time since Williams described his Aug. 7 victory with Adam Scott as the “most satisfying win of my career,” instead focused on complimenting Scott’s play.
“I was happy to see Stevie and Adam win,” Woods said in a press conference at the Atlanta Athletic Club, where the PGA Championship begins tomorrow. “It was great to see him play that well.”
Woods said he sent Williams a congratulatory text message after the win at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. He referred to his former caddie as a friend and said he would keep any conversations that he might have had with Williams since then private.
“All I can control is my life and how I feel,” Woods said when asked if he regretted how much attention the end of their working relationship created. “I’m not going to speculate on Steve. Those are obviously his feelings and his decision to say what he wants to say.”
Williams told Foxsports.com this week that he went “over the top” with his comments following Scott’s victory, in which he focused more on himself rather than the play of his new boss.
Today, the New Zealander apologized on his website, saying it was a “complete surprise” that CBS Corp. asked him for an interview after Scott’s four-shot win, his first title in the U.S. in more than a year.
“My emotions were running very high, and at the time I felt my emotions poured out and got the better of me,” wrote Williams, who caddied for Woods during 13 of his 14 major victories. “I apologize to my fellow caddies and professionals for failing to mention Adam’s outstanding performance. I would like to thank all those fans at Firestone who made this victory the most special of my career.”
As Scott played the final holes of the event, fans repeatedly chanted “Stev-ie.” Scott, a 31-year-old Australian, said yesterday that he hopes his clubs can “do the talking” this week at the PGA, the final major of the golf season.
Woods said he would stop using Williams as his caddie last month. Williams had worked for him for 12 years.
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