Woods disappointed in caddies comments

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2008, 5:00 pm
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. ' Tiger Woods said Monday he was disappointed by his caddies disparaging comments in New Zealand newspapers about Phil Mickelson, whom Woods referred to as a player I respect.
 
Steve Williams was quoted in the Taranki Daily News as saying he wouldnt call Mickelson a great player because I think hes a (expletive). Contacted by the Sunday Star Times, Williams confirmed making the comment.
 
I was disappointed to read the comments attributed to Steve Williams about Phil Mickelson, a player that I respect, Woods said in a statement. It was inappropriate. The matter has been discussed and dealt with.
 
Williams began working with Woods in the spring of 1999 and has been on his bag for 13 of his 14 majors.
 
Mickelsons management company issued a statement Sunday evening to respond to what it called grossly inaccurate and irresponsible statements by Williams. It included a comment from Mickelson.
 
After seeing Steve Williams comments, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones (Jim Mackay) on my bag and representing me, Mickelson said.
 
The comments figure to bring even more intrigue to the Woods-Mickelson rivalry, and to a relationship that is hard to pin down.
 
They have never been particularly close, and they appeared to be even more distant when they lost both their matches as partners in the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, where they rarely spoke to each other.
 
But they exchange friendly barbs in the locker room, and both have paid each other compliments over the years. Mickelson credits Woods with a spike in prize money, and when Mickelson had his worst season on tour in 2003, Woods said Lefty had too much talent to end his career without a major and that his wedge game was the best in golf. Mickelson went on to win a major each of the next three years.
 
Williams was not at home Monday and could not immediately to be reached for comment.
 
He told the Sunday Star Times that his original comment about Mickelson was not in an interview.
 
I visit a lot of golf clubs and do a lot of speaking for charity, and that is one of the questions I get asked the most ' what is Tigers relationship like with Phil Mickelson, Williams told the newspaper. I was simply honest and said they dont get along. You know what its like. Youre at a charity event and you have a bit of fun.
 
I dont particularly like the guy myself, he said. He pays me no respect at all and hence, I dont pay him any respect. Its no secret we dont get along, either.
 
Mickelsons management also took issue with a story Williams told the Taranki Daily News about a fan heckling Mickelsons physique, saying the caddie plugged in Mickelsons name to an incident that happened years ago.
 
That famous story involved Colin Montgomerie at Bethpage Black in the 2002 U.S. Open.
 
Woods is to speak Wednesday at the Chevron World Challenge, where he is the tournament host. He has not played since winning the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines ' where he and Mickelson played together the first two rounds ' and likely will not see Mickelson until Woods returns, presumably in March.
 
What he discussed and how he dealt with Williams remains unknown.
 
Woods credits his caddie for reading a crucial putt for par at Medinah in 1999 that helped Woods win the PGA Championship, and for talking him into a 60-degree wedge out of the rough on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines this summer, where Woods made a 12-foot birdie putt to force a playoff against Rocco Mediate in the U.S. Open.
 
Williams is only the second full-time caddie Woods has employed since he turned pro in 1996. The other was Mike Fluff Cowan, who was replaced in February 1999. Some believe Cowan was fired for giving interviews and seeking publicity, but Woods simply was looking for a caddie who better fit his high-energy levels.
 
Williams has had several run-ins with fans, media and Tour officials, never caring what anyone thought.
 
He threw a $7,000 camera into a pond at the Skins Game when a photographer working for a corporate sponsor took a picture in the middle of Woods swing out of a bunker on the final hole. He also wrested a camera from a fan ' an off-duty police officer ' at the U.S. Open in 2004. Williams routinely was fined by the Tour for wearing shorts that were not approved.
 

Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.