Williams joins caddies' lawsuit

By Rex HoggardMarch 2, 2015, 9:37 pm

DORAL, Fla. – Attorneys representing a group of caddies in a class-action lawsuit against the PGA Tour plan to re-file the complaint, expanding the original suit to more than 150 caddies including one of the game’s most high-profile bagmen.

Gene Egdorf, the Houston-based attorney leading the lawsuit for the caddies, said he plans to resubmit the original complaint within 10 days with an estimated 70 more plaintiffs, including Steve Williams.

“I don’t think the Tour has treated the caddies in a correct manner for a long time,” Williams told GolfChannel.com from his home in New Zealand. “I think this is a good starting point to get the Tour and the caddies in a better stead.”

Although Williams has not caddied since last year’s Tour Championship, he’s a 36-year veteran of the caddie yard and his time with Tiger Woods will be particularly relevant to the lawsuit that was filed last month in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Williams said he was fined numerous times by the Tour, including on at least seven occasions one season, for taking his caddie bib off while he was on the 18th green of a tournament. The New Zealander said each fine cost him $500.

More than 80 caddies originally filed the lawsuit, which claims they are forced to wear logo-covered bibs without receiving any proceeds from contracts that lawyers for the caddies estimate are valued at $50 million annually.

“I feel real strongly about it,” said Williams, who planned to take a year off from caddying in 2015. “Caddie bibs are archaic as a piece of clothing. I’m not saying sponsors shouldn’t have some sort of advertising on the caddies, but the actually bib is archaic.”

Caddie treatment at Tour events prompted the creation of the Association of Professional Tour Caddies last year and the issue received a large amount of attention last week at the Honda Classic when caddies were forced to wait out a weather delay in a tent many felt was not safe given the conditions.

The APTC tried to negotiate with the Tour for better working conditions and secure funding for health care benefits and a retirement program, but those talks broke down earlier this season, leading to last month’s lawsuit.

“The caddies are not employed by the Tour, they are employed by the golfer and there is no compensation from the Tour to the caddies but the Tour gets compensated for the caddies wearing the bibs,” Williams said. “They treat the caddies like second-class citizens.”

The Tour does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.