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Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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Martin Fennelly Columns

Even a caddie can shine away from Tiger Woods' still-dark shadow

Hell hath no fury like a caddie scorned. It was Adam Scott who won that golf tournament, right? I'm just asking. Tiger Woods is still registering rock bottom on everyone's GPS. Living proof is that his big-mouth, bullying, classless former caddie, Steve Williams, is hailed as a conquering hero after carrying Scott's bag around for a win at the Bridgestone Invitational, the first PGA event poor Williams had worked since Tiger firing him became public knowledge.
Should this really have led "SportsCenter"? Oh, Tiger and those exes … "It's the most satisfying win I've ever had," Stevie Williams said. A few points need to be made: First, he's a caddie. Second, Adam Scott did the winning. Third, 47-year-old guys shouldn't go by Stevie. Fourth, he's a caddie. Now, if Erin Nordegren had been on Scott's bag, that would have been another story. That's something I would have loved to see. But there was Stevie, holding court, overshadowing even Scott after the tournament. Yes, there was our man Stevie, who is a caddie, basking in the limelight, in the fact that he came in first and Tiger, back from injury but still lousy, finished 37th, 18 shots back, for a paycheck of only $58,500, chump change to the roughly $140,000 Williams will get as his cut of Scott's $1.4 million first prize. Stevie called it "the greatest week of my life." Never mind those 13 major wins with Tiger, the four straight Grand Slam wins, 72 wins worldwide, or that Tiger made him a millionaire, or gave him the stage to be The Incredible Talking Caddie. Tiger won those tournaments, just like Adam Scott won Sunday. I have nothing against caddies. You might not know this, but Abraham Lincoln was a caddie before he was a rail splitter and a lawyer. I'm not even sure Lincoln knows it. But caddies should be seen, not heard. Most of the time, they shouldn't even be seen. Instead, Williams was Tiger's pit bull, snarling at galleries and media, glaring at anyone who dared click a camera while his meal ticket was in his back swing. He was loud and obnoxious, like when he ripped Tiger rival Phil Mickelson a few years ago. Tiger had to issue an apology. Now, in what was once thought to be impossible, Williams is viewed as a sympathetic figure. He had mostly stuck by his lord and master while Tiger slipped into the gutter and destroyed his marriage and his invincibility. Then Tiger fired him, in part, perhaps, because Williams went and found work with Scott while Tiger recovered from nagging injuries. Williams on Sunday insisted Tiger fired him over the phone, while Tiger says it was "face-to-face, man-to-man." He said, he said. Actually, this is fun. Lesson 1: Never jilt your caddie. It just shows you how unsavory Tiger still seems as he prepares for this week's PGA Championship. The guy can't catch a break. Not that he deserves one, but he still can't catch one. Everything he divorces or fires comes back to haunt him. If this guy threw out his golf club's this week, someone would pick them up at a rummage sale and win next Sunday with them. It doesn't help that Tiger is now fully ensconced in his swinging $50 million (bachelor) pad in Jupiter, the one that has four practice holes in the backyard. There's a 6,400 square-foot gym, a lap pool and a reflecting pool. There's so much room it's surprising that Tiger didn't put up a Perkins restaurant on the premises. Disgusted yet? Is it really any surprise that the world has yet to come back over to Tiger's point of view? Honestly, if Tiger had fired Stevie Williams after Williams cracked on Phil, a lot of people would have applauded. If Tiger had fired Stevie most any time, it would have been fine. I mean, the guy is a caddie, and it's Tiger's right. But leave it to Eldrick, in his current deposed state, to elevate his former caddie to celebrity status. It was noted Sunday that Williams won in his first time out since Tiger dumped him, while Tiger hasn't won in 21 consecutive PGA Tour starts, a futility record for him. That's right, Stevie won and Tiger didn't. Wait: Stevie won? Adam Scott was so very classy in letting Williams be the show. Williams was low class for overshadowing Scott with his Tiger comments. I mean, he's a caddie. Correction: He's a caddie scorned. And in Tiger's world right now, that's big trouble.
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