Woods said he will use Billy Foster, the caddie for Darren Clarke, at the Presidents Cup next month. His regular caddie, Steve Williams, is going home to New Zealand because his fiance is expecting their first child.
``He's good at what he does,'' Woods said. ``I've seen him work with Clarkey over the years, and he's had some success. There were a couple of guys I was considering, but I like his personality. He's very competitive, very feisty, and very similar to Stevie.''
Asked if Foster was allergic to cameras, Clarke smiled and said, ``No.''
Foster plays off a 1 handicap. One example of his personality might be the time he caddied for the temperamental Seve Ballesteros. He had Foster put some fruit in the bag before a round, and eventually asked for an apple.
Ballesteros inspected the apple and told him, ``This is no good.''
To which Foster replied, ``Do you want a caddie or a grocer?''
The Presidents Cup, to be played Sept. 22-25 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, is between the United States and an International team from everywhere but Europe. Clarke has said he will not be playing that week in the Seve Trophy on the European tour.
The only other pro caddie for Woods was Mike ``Fluff'' Cowan from the start of his career until early 1999.
As for Williams?
Woods said he was expected to be on the bag at the Deustche Bank Championship next week outside Boston, then return at the start of October for the American Express Championship in San Francisco.
He said Bryon Bell, his best friend from junior high school, would caddie for him Oct. 20-23 in the Funai Classic at Disney. Bell, who usually works Disney, was Woods' caddie when he won the Buick Invitational in 1999.
SCOTT ON SABBATICAL
If there are horses for courses, it would seen Adam Scott is a thoroughbred on the TPC at Boston, having won and tied for second the first two years at the Deustche Bank Championship.
That's why it was peculiar to learn the 25-year-old Aussie is skipping this year's event.
Scott has been spinning his wheels, with only one top 10 since the U.S. Open. That was a tie for fifth at the Scandinavian Masters in Sweden.
``I'm taking a bit of a sabbatical,'' he said at the NEC Invitational. ``My head hasn't been in the game this week, and there's no point playing when you're not in the right frame of mind. I feel like I need to get away and practice putting for a week, not playing, and then come back out and get my head straight. It's been a long year.''
Scott left Firestone for Australia, his first trip home all year.
He won the Nissan Open, but it didn't count as an official victory because it was a 36-hole event delayed by rain. He played extremely well at the Match Play Championship, but ran into the unbeatable David Toms in the quarterfinals. His only other good opportunity was finishing one shot behind Sergio Garcia at the Booz Allen Classic.
``I'm ready for a bit of a break, where I can crash and come back focused, and hopefully get to the Mercedes,'' Scott said of the winners-only tournament at Kapalua.
Among his plans? Watching his beloved Adelaide Crows in Australian Rules Football.
The World Golf Hall of Fame ceremony in November will not include Vijay Singh, who decided to defer his induction because it conflicts with a tournament.
Singh will be playing in Asia at the end of the year, starting with the inaugural HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
``I tried to get them to change the dates, but there's so many things involved in it,'' Singh said. ``It's unfortunate, but I'm definitely going to be here next year to do that.''
Other inductees are Karrie Webb from the LPGA Tour; Ayako Okamoto from the International ballot; and Willie Park Sr., Alister Mackenzie and Bernard Darwin from lifetime achievement and veterans' categories. The induction ceremony is Nov. 14 in St. Augustine, Fla.
Singh isn't the first player to defer his induction. Seve Ballesteros also had a conflict and delayed his induction one year to 1999.
A REAL SLUMP
Tiger Woods won only one tournament and finished fourth on the PGA Tour money list in 2004, leading some to say he was in a slump.
Jerry Kelly would beg to differ with the definition.
After playing in the Tour Championship the last three years, Kelly has only one top 10 this season.
``It's the first prolonged slump I've had in five years,'' he said. ``It's been very difficult, but I've been going through some swing changes earlier in the year -- a lot of swing changes. I got behind the 8-ball early, and I put too much pressure on myself. Now I'm a little more relaxed. I'm going to just go out and play for a change.''
Then he shot 74-72 and missed the cut at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus won't decide pairings until the Presidents Cup, but expect to see Tiger Woods and Fred Couples playing together. ... Oakland Hills, which held the Ryder Cup last year, will be 226 yards longer when it hosts the 2008 PGA Championship. Club members last week approved golf architect Rees Jones' recommendations to update the South course by stretching it to 7,303 yards as a par 70. ... For those wondering why Jesper Parnevik no longer flips up the bill of his cap, the answer is Lasik surgery. ``My eyes became a little light sensitive after that,'' he said. ``I shade my eyes from now on. It can get very bright here.'' ... Ernie Els is recovering from surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee, and the Big Easy is reporting good progress. He said on his Web site he can already fully straighten his knee, and is close to being able to bend it, ``which is pretty unusual so soon after this type of injury.''
STAT OF THE WEEK
Craig Bowden was 28-of-28 in fairways hit the first rounds of the Reno-Tahoe Open and still missed the cut.
``I've never made a nickel in my lifetime where I wasn't a little nervous getting it.'' -- Paul Azinger.