Woods: Williams apologized, 'not a racist'

By Associated PressNovember 8, 2011, 12:28 am

SYDNEY – Tiger Woods says he received an apology from former caddie Steve Williams over a racial slur when the two met and shook hands Tuesday.

“We talked this morning, we met face to face and talked about it, talked it through,” Woods said, ahead of the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club.

Williams’ disparaging comment came during a caddies’ awards party Friday in Shanghai.

“It was a wrong thing to say, something that we both acknowledge,” Woods said. “He did apologize. It was hurtful, certainly, but life goes forward.”

Woods said it was not up to him to call for sanctions against Williams. The PGA Tour and European Tour have said no action would be taken against Williams for the comment.

“Stevie’s certainly not a racist,” Woods said Tuesday. “There’s no doubt about that. It was a comment that shouldn’t have been made and was certainly one that he wished he didn’t make.”

He was asked how two people so close together for more than a decade – Williams was with Woods for 13 of his 14 majors over 13 years – could become so distant so quickly. Woods fired Williams in July.

“That’s a great question, I don’t know that one,” Woods said. “For me personally it was a tough decision to make to go in a different direction in my professional life, but as far as personally, I don’t know how it could have happened the way it did. But it just did and here we are.

“It’s just one of those things where we’ll see what time does and as we all know, time does heal wounds.”

Asked for the source of the animosity between them, Woods said: “That’s between Stevie and me. We talked it through, and we’ll leave it at that.”

On Monday, Greg Norman called Williams’ comment stupid, but also said he felt the New Zealand caddie was not a racist.

“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.”

Adam Scott, who employs Williams full time, said in a statement 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 playing in the Australian Open, which has attracted a strong field due to the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne next week.

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.”

On Tuesday, Woods said he is injury-free for the first time in months, allowing him to practice at an accelerated rate.

“My bad rounds need to be under par, not over par,” Woods said. “That’s something I haven’t done through this stretch.”

That stretch is a victory drought of nearly two years – his last win on any tour was at the Australian Masters in November 2009.

Weeks later, news of his infidelities surfaced, followed by a divorce, injuries and swing changes, leaving his win at Kingston Heath in Melbourne his last tour victory anywhere.

On Monday, Woods said “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. I’ve been rehabbing for so long I haven’t been able to train.”

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."