Following the third round of the HSBC Champions, a day after the caddie awards dinner where Steve Williams made the controversial comment directed at former boss Tiger Woods in his acceptance speech, Adam Scott said he disagreed with those who thought he should sack Williams and suggested the remark was taken out of context.
“Steve issued a statement and apologized, and, you know, he did the right thing. That’s all there is to say about that from my side of things. He did the right thing.
“I think everything in that room last night was all in good spirits and for a bit of fun, and I think it probably got taken out of that room in the wrong context.
“Look, anything with Tiger involved is a story, so you know, I value Steve’s contribution to my game and have him on the bag, and you know, while he’s caddying, I hope he can caddie for me.
“There was a lot of language used last night, and it’s just this was reported. I don’t really think that stuff has ever left the room before, and it’s probably good reasons why. I think it’s probably all very unnecessary.
“I thought it was all in jest and fun of the evening. That’s how the whole evening was. Everything was quite amusing.
“Those things are not meant to go past that room, but, you know, obviously somebody took it out and that’s the way it goes. There’s really no safe haven for what you say, and so you’ve got to be careful.”
Asked if he thought Williams to be a racist, Scott replied, “I don’t think so. I think we all know that’s not the case.”
Following the final round on Sunday in Shanghai, Scott, who shot one-over 73 to finish tied for 11th, was asked again if Stevie would stay on his bag. The answer was simple: “Absolutely.”
Meanwhile, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and European Tour Commissioner George O’Grady issued a statement on behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours, saying that it “feels strongly there is no place for any form of racism in ours or any other sport.”
“We consider the remarks of Steve Williams, as reported, entirely unacceptable in whatever context,” the statement said. “We are aware that he has apologized fully and we trust we will not hear remarks ever gain [sic]. Based on this, we consider the matter closed, and we will have no further comment.”
Pretty standard. Which was enough for Scott when shown a copy after he signed for his round.
While undoubtedly the controversy will follow for the next few weeks, Scott made it clear it’s closed for him, according to the AP:
Scott has said that while Williams’ comments made it out of the room, context did not go with them. And toward the end of his interview Sunday, the Australian star bristled when a reporter asked if he was condoning a racist remark by not doing anything to Williams.
Scott stared for a moment, his lips slightly pursed.
“Look, I don’t think digging for a story out of me on this is a good idea,” he said. “I had Steve issue an apology. What more should I do? I don’t know if you were there in the evening.”
The reporter shook his head.
“So I don’t think you have a leg to stand on when it comes to commenting,” Scott said.
I admire his “loyalty” to Stevie, but Stevie’s actions seem to be causing a lot of unwanted attention and distraction for Scott, who seems to be misplacing the blame at the media instead of the man actually responsible.
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)