Norman defends Williams over Woods gaffe

By Associated PressNovember 7, 2011, 11:40 am

SYDNEY – Greg Noman has defended caddie Steve Williams over his Tiger Woods comments, saying the comments were “stupid” but that he doesn’t believe Williams is racist.

Norman, speaking Monday at The Lakes, where he’ll begin the Australian Open on Thursday, also said Williams’ current employer Adam Scott should ignore calls to release him. Scott later issued a statement reiterating he will stand by Williams, and saying that he considers the issue closed.

At a caddies’ awards party Friday in Shanghai, Williams talked about a television interview he gave following Scott’s win at the Bridgestone

“We’ve all made stupid comments at stupid times, unfortunately his stupid comment became global news,” Norman said. “I know he probably regrets saying it but I guarantee you in that room on that night there was probably some heavier things said.”

Norman, who had Williams on his bag for several years in the 1980s, replied “no, not at all,” when asked Monday if Williams was racist.

Scott said in a statement later Monday that he believes “there is absolutely no room for racial discrimination in any walk of life, including the game of golf.”

“I have discussed this matter directly with Steve and he understands and supports my view on this subject. I also accept Steve’s apology, knowing that he meant no racial slur with his comments. I now consider the matter closed. I will not be making any further comment.”

Woods and Scott are also playing in the Australian Open, which has attracted a strong field due to the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne next week.

Norman disagreed with the notion of pairing Woods and Scott together this week in Sydney for the first two rounds of the Australian Open. It was also suggested to Norman, the captain of the International side for the Presidents Cup, that he might send Scott out against Woods in the team event in Melbourne.

“Everybody wants me to pair Adam and Tiger next week, right, and I’m sure there was a question about pairing Adam and Tiger this week,” Norman said. “Of course, everybody wants to see it. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do from a promotional aspect, No. 1, because it should just be an automatic draw.

“I don’t think there is any issue between Tiger and Adam at all.”

Norman said any feud between Woods and Williams needs to be sorted out.

“Because of the temperature that was going on between the two of them, anything that is said or not said is going to exacerbate whatever that feeling is,” Norman said.

“I hope it gets resolved. Golf doesn’t need it. Golf needs Tiger back playing great golf like he used to. Golf needs the cohesiveness that’s always existed.

“There’s always been underlying currents, not everybody loves everybody and the people who dislike each other; we just have a tendency of parting our ways and not seeing each other. But to have it play out like it’s played out has been a bit sad for the game.”

Norman, asked if golf has a problem with racism, said: “No, not at all; never seen it; never seen it at all.”

Woods was in Melbourne on Monday at a corporate day. It’s the city where he last won a tournament: the Australian Masters in November 2009.

Weeks later, news of his infidelities surfaced, followed by a divorce, injuries and swing changes.

On Monday, Woods told a Melbourne radio station that he’s seeing a gradual improvement in his game. The radio interviewers were warned not to ask any questions about Williams.

“I’ve had a ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), I’ve had a broken leg, a torn Achilles, and strained ligaments over the last five years,” Woods said. “I’ve been rehabbing for so long I haven’t been able to train. I’m hitting faster, more explosive, my speed’s come back. I’m hitting the ball distances I know I can hit the golf ball again. It’s getting fun.”

Woods played with cricket great Shane Warne, Warne’s fiancee Liz Hurley and billionaire businessman James Packer at the private Capital Golf Club.

Woods flew back to Sydney later Monday. He’ll conduct a media conference at The Lakes on Tuesday morning where he’s expected to comment directly for the first time on Williams’s remarks.


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Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.