AKRON, Ohio – Even after Tiger Woods fired him as his caddie on July 3, after the AT&T National, Steve Williams chose not to go public until after the British Open so it would not be a distraction to his new employer, Adam Scott.
After the split was announced, Williams went on New Zealand television and said he was disappointed with Woods and that he felt as though he had wasted the last two years of his life. Clearly, hard feelings remain.
Scott, though, isn’t interested.
“To be honest, I haven’t really been following it,” Scott said Thursday after his 8-under 62 in the Bridgestone Invitational gave him a one-shot lead over Jason Day and left him six shots clear of Woods, who played for the first time since May 12.
“I don’t really care,” Scott said. “It’s not my business. And until it really has an effect on me and how I’m going to play, then I’m not going to … he’s dealing with it the way he wants to deal with it. He’s a big boy. He can handle it.”
There appears to have been no communication between Scott and Woods, and the Australian isn’t sure there needs to be.
He asked Williams to caddie for him at the U.S. Open if the Kiwi were available, and when Williams learned (after flying to America) that Woods was not going to play at Congressional, he called Scott. Williams caddied again for him at the AT&T National, where he was fired by Woods, and then the British Open.
Scott said at the U.S. Open that he has not talked to Woods, and he hasn’t seen him at Firestone.
“I saw him at Aronimink (site of the AT&T National), but I had no idea that it was going down like that,” Scott said. “I haven’t seen him yet. I don’t think it should be awkward. This kind of thing happens on tour. It happens a lot every year with everyone, and just because it’s Tiger and Steve, I’m not going to treat it like it’s anything different than anyone else going through this.
“I hope it’s not going to be awkward,” he said. “I don’t have a problem, but if he has a problem, then he can definitely tell me.”
Scott is more interested in what Williams has to say, and so far he has been impressed.
One thing is clear. Williams doesn’t mince words, a similar bluntness to what Scott received when he worked with Butch Harmon.
“He’s been very honest with me what he thinks of my game,” Scott said. “He thinks I can be as good a player as I want to be, but he’s adamant that you’ve got to put the work in, and I think he sees that I am putting in the work.”
Scott was asked if he thought Williams felt a little more motivation because this was Woods’ first tournament back.
“He just wants to get me going, wants to get me playing like this more often,” Scott said. “Yeah, I’m sure he feels good about today.”
BIG FIRST SERVE: Sergio Garcia played with tape tightly wrapped around his right wrist, due to a slight injury that doesn’t effect his golf game. In fact, he didn’t even tweak it playing golf.
It was tennis.
Garcia, known to be a good tennis player, had a doubles match last week with some of the tennis teachers at The Greenbrier. On one particular serve, Garcia went at it pretty hard and felt a twinge on the side of his right hand.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Garcia. “It’s just being safe.”
Garcia said if he really pops a good serve, he can reach up to 110 mph.
CLARKE’S DAY: Darren Clarke is back at the Bridgestone Invitational because of his win at the British Open.
It just didn’t go as well as he had planned.
Playing with Tiger Woods, Clarke bogeyed the opening hole from a fairway bunker, chipped through the green for another bogey on No. 5 and couldn’t get up-and-down from a bunker on the seventh.
It looked as though he was back in business on No. 8, when his 7-iron from 184 yards bounced twice and dropped for eagle. But it fell apart on the back nine, especially on the 17th.
Clarke had about a 15-foot birdie putt that came up 2 feet short. He jokingly pulled the putter back like he was going to smash what looked to be a tap-in par. Settling over the ball with a grin on his face, he missed the putt and took bogey.
Clarke wound up with a 77.
“Tough day. Did my best but my best was poor today,” Clarke later said on Twitter.
DIVOTS: Ryo Ishikawa cut off most of his hair, but didn’t lose much strength. He opened with a 67, finishing with an unlikely par on the 18th when he hit a 60-yard wedge from near the hospitality area and made a 10-foot putt. … The top 10 on the leaderboard featured players from seven countries. … Hunter Mahan and Graeme McDowell were the only players who failed to make at least a par on the par-5 second hole, the easiest at Firestone.