Rumor Mill Tigers Caddie Not Going Anywhere
Williams told New Zealand's Sunday Star-Times he didn't know why rumors were circulating he was about to end his lucrative eight-year partnership with Woods, the world's No. 1-ranked golfer.
'I need to get a few people off my back over this,' Williams said. 'I've been inundated with e-mails and text messages and requests for interviews but I haven't responded to anybody and this is the one and only statement I'll make on it.
'A rumor started last week that I was to retire at the end of the year and there's no truth to that rumor. If I was to retire, Tiger would be the first one to know.'
Reports of a possible split between Woods and Williams surfaced earlier this month when Woods was said to have approached Billy Foster, caddie to Briton Darren Clarke, to gauge his future availability.
The birth of Woods' first child, Williams' recent marriage and the Kiwi caddie's admitted desire to eventually become a fulltime motor racer fueled rumors that the pair might soon separate.
'I have no idea where this has come from,' Williams said. 'Perhaps Tiger may not play as much now that he's a father but that doesn't make any difference to my job.
'I caddie for Tiger whenever he plays and he doesn't play a lot as it is now.'
Williams said he had a wish to eventually turn his motor racing hobby -- he is a New Zealand champion in dirt track racing -- into a fulltime career.
'That's something that I'd like to do but caddying for the world No. 1 player is a bit more profitable and meaningful,' he said.
'Once I finish caddying it's something I'd entertain doing. Every now and again there's a chance to miss a golf tournament because there's a major race meeting on but I've only missed one tournament because of a race meeting.
'There's 100 percent no truth to the rumor I'm retiring.'
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field
Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.
Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.
In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.
Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.
After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth.
Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation.
Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.
“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”
After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).
Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129.
The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.
Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.
Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.
Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.
Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.
Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.
Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back
All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.
His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.
“I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.
“I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”
Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.
“This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.
Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.