There have been several reports saying that Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Jason Day will be grouped together for the first two rounds of the Australian Open this week, although tournament officials say it will not happen. In light of Steve Williams' comments aimed at Woods, GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard and editorial director Jay Coffin debate whether Woods and Scott should be placed together.
By REX HOGGARD
Officials at this week’s Australian Open should resist the urge to pair Tiger Woods with Adam Scott, and his controversial caddie Steve Williams, this week at The Lakes. Featured pairings are one thing, sensationalistic maneuvers that create unnecessary tension is best left to those who organize Ultimate Fighting Championships.
Williams’ comments last week in Shanghai regarding his old boss have sparked a predictable firestorm. Given the jilted duo’s close proximity the next two weeks it’s the kind of story that has a limitless shelf life. But there’s no reason to add to that frenzy with a contrived pairing.
Featured pairings have been successful this year injecting new life into old events, but a Woods-Scott two-ball seems a bit much. The circus that normally follows Woods would be needlessly magnified by such a move and bring into question the competitive integrity of the event, and not just for Woods and Scott but also for the half dozen other players who would tee off just before and after the marquee pairing.
The Woods-Scott duel may be inevitable, with both players on an apparent collision course heading into next week’s Presidents Cup, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
By JAY COFFIN
Pair them together, they’re all big boys playing for a lot of money, they can handle it.
I don’t think it should happen to create more controversy, I think they should play together to get it out of the way before heading to Melbourne for the Presidents Cup. All anyone will talk about this week at the Australian Open is Steve Williams. It’s inevitable.
For perhaps the first time ever, I feel sorry for Tiger Woods because he has to deal with the comments made by his knucklehead former caddie. There already will be a ton of attention on Woods at the Presidents Cup because of his oft-debated captain’s pick. People wonder how he’ll play, wonder if he’ll pair with Steve Stricker in each match, and if Stricker doesn’t go, people wonder who will fill the void.
Everyone involved may hate it, Woods and Scott may be uncomfortable, but they must be paired. I can’t imagine them avoiding this situation for another week, then getting to Royal Melbourne the following week and getting paired for the first time. Odds are it would happen.
But if it happens this week, it’ll be old news. Still a big deal, but old news.
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