Tigers caddie and the art of gamesmanship


MARANA, Ariz. – Gamesmanship is more a part of match play than stroke play.

Even caddies can get into the psychology that comes into play.

Just ask Graeme McDowell.

When McDowell’s duel with Tiger Woods at the Chevron World Challenge in December turned into a match-play scenario down the stretch, he wasn’t surprised Woods’ caddie, Steve Williams, became a part of the story. That’s where Williams ripped his bib off at the 72nd hole, before the tournament was decided, a definite message that Williams believed Woods was about to take down McDowell.

“Stevie is a tough guy,” McDowell said. “He’s been around a long time, and he plays his role when it comes to a Sunday afternoon stretch with Tiger. He’s an intimidating caddie. He’s a sportsman, both he and Tiger are.”

McDowell, of course, made a clutch birdie putt at the 72nd hole to force a playoff, which forced Williams to put his bib back on. McDowell went on to win the playoff.

“I didn’t think it was particularly nice, but, he did it, whatever,” McDowell said. “A few people asked me, did I hole that putt and say `Put that bib back on Stevie!’ I wish I had done something that cool, but he’s a big guy, and I don’t want to mess with him. Didn’t want to get my (butt) kicked on the 19th green.”