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Williams Revels in Scott's Victory
Steve Williams wasn't shy about expressing his excitement for helping new boss Adam Scott win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on Sunday. Following Scott's closing 5-under 65 and four-shot romp in the $8.5 million event, Williams called it "the best week of his life" and "the best win I've ever had."
The comments took some aback because the win was Williams's eighth at Firestone; he won seven times previously in Akron with former boss, Tiger Woods, who let him go last month in a manner that peeved the proud Williams, who had been loyal to Woods through all his public embarrassments since Woods' car accident in November 2009, subsequent revelations of marital improprieties and divorce.
During one of the longest sessions with reporters by a caddie, Williams cleared up some things about how he was released by Woods, who claimed he did it face to face on July 3rd in the final round of the AT&T National. "That's incorrect," Williams said. "He told me over the phone. He said we were taking a break. In caddie lingo, that means I was fired."
Williams would know caddie lingo, having worked as a professional looper for 33 years, first with Australian great Peter Thomson and then Ian Baker-Finch, Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd and, finally, Woods. All told, the 47-year-old New Zealander has racked up 145 victories on the PGA Tour.
Speaking first to CBS Sports and then to a pack of reporters, Williams, when asked if Scott's victory had a little extra meaning, he smiled and said, "absolutely," adding "this is the most satisfying win ever. I'm not denying that."
Williams also confirmed that Woods let him go because he went to work for Scott. Williams had flown to America from New Zealand for the U.S. Open at Congressional, only to find out Woods had withdrawn. When Scott, who had split with caddie Tony Navarro a few weeks earlier, asked if Williams could work for him, Williams requested permission from Woods. Woods texted that it was okay, but then later objected.
But Williams wasn't going to break his word to Scott. When asked why he was fired, Williams said simply, "Because I worked for Scotty. Plain and simple."
On Sunday, Williams was more popular than his former boss, if you consider the crowd's reaction. As Scott walked onto the 18th green at Firestone's South Course with victory well in hand, the gallery roared, "Ste-vie Wil-liams . . . Ste-vie Wil-liams . . . Ste-vie Wil-liams."
"The people here have been astounding," Williams said later. "This has been the greatest week of my life as a caddie. I'm sure they're sympathetic to (my situation)."
Scott, a native of Adelaide, Australia, could only shake his head at the greeting for Williams. "I had no idea how popular a New Zealander can be," Scott said drolly. "They appreciate him a lot, I guess."