Finchem, Euro chief: Williams case closed

By Doug FergusonNovember 6, 2011, 12:24 pm

SHANGHAI – Golf’s top two tour chiefs and Adam Scott feel the same way about the racial remark that caddie Steve Williams used to disparage Tiger Woods.

There’s no place for racism in sport or anywhere else. It was right for Williams to apologize, and that was enough for them to consider the case closed without taking action. Time to move on.

In this case, it could be moving from Shanghai to Sydney - and it figures to be open for discussion.

Even as PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and European Tour chief executive George O’Grady issued a statement, Scott was grilled anew Sunday after the final round of the HSBC Champions on whether Williams will stay on his bag.

“Absolutely,” Scott said.

Williams was roasted at a caddies award party for the exuberant TV interview he gave on the 18th green of the Bridgestone Invitational right after Scott won. Asked about the interview, he replied, “It was my aim to shove it up that black

The Bridgestone was two weeks after Woods had fired Williams.

The comment, while said at a private gathering in which all comments were considered off the record, quickly spread after a caddie shared what was said to a group of British reporters who were not there and not bound by the agreement.

It was all the talk the next two days of the HSBC Champions, especially when Scott stayed in contention, and even as Martin Kaymer birdied nine of his last 12 holes for a 63 to win by three shots.

Finchem and O’Grady said they spoke for the International Federation of PGA Tours that it “feels strongly there is no place for any form of racism in ours or any other sport.”

“We consider the remarks of Steve Williams, as reported, entirely unacceptable in whatever context,” the statement said. “We are aware that he has apologized fully and we trust we will not hear remarks ever gain. Based on this, we consider the matter closed, and we will have no further comment.”

Scott was shown a copy of the statement after signing his card and said he felt comfortable with it.

“I don’t think anyone condones racism in sport or anything,” Scott said.

Scott, who closed with a 73 Sunday and tied for 11th at the HSBC Champions, now heads to Sydney for the Australian Open. Woods also is playing golf’s fourth-oldest championship, and a press conference was scheduled for Tuesday morning. Organizers had planned long ago to put Woods and Scott in the same group for the opening two rounds, along with Jason Day.

The following week is the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, where Scott and Woods - or is that Williams and Woods? - could face each other in any of the four days of competition.

Scott tried to deflect speculation that he could be walking into a frenzy Down Under.

“Hopefully, it’s just for my good play rather than anything else. I don’t think there’s a story going forward,” he said, adding that “the matter has been put to bed and I’ve got nothing more to talk about it with anyone. So I’m moving on.”

Scott and his camp urged Williams to apologize, and the caddie posted a statement on his website the morning after the party that said, “I now realize how my comments could be construed as racist. However, I assure you that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to Tiger and anyone else I’ve offended.”

Scott has said that while Williams’ comments made it out of the room, context did not go with them. And toward the end of his interview Sunday, the Australian star bristled when a reporter asked if he was condoning a racist remark by not doing anything to Williams.

Scott stared for a moment, his lips slightly pursed.

“Look, I don’t think digging for a story out of me on this is a good idea,” he said. “I had Steve issue an apology. What more should I do? I don’t know if you were there in the evening.”

The reporter shook his head.

“So I don’t think you have a leg to stand on when it comes to commenting,” Scott said.

Kaymer was among several players at the caddies party - as was Scott - and said that Williams “could have used different words.” But the German said he had paid close attention to all the activity that followed, from Williams’ apology to the tours’ statement to Scott’s intention to keep Williams as his caddie.

“I hope it doesn’t have too much effect on Adam, because Adam is a very lovely guy,” Kaymer said. “He’s a great player and I hope it doesn’t affect him too much. But if it was right or wrong, obviously to be racist, it’s never good. It should not be on the golf course or anywhere else. But I don’t really know if he really meant it like this.”

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.