From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Tiger Woods plays the blame game with Steve Williams

with one comment

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a golfer who places blame on his caddie for mistakes made during a round. Like most sports, the golfer is the one making the final commitment to the shot. The caddie is merely a sounding-board to bounce ideas off prior to the shot.

Don’t like his suggestion? Then hit the club you feel gives you the best chance to knock it close. Then take your medicine and own up to the errant shot if things don’t go your way. Tiger Woods is pretty good when it comes to doing this. While Steve Williams probably has a bigger say in the club selection, Woods has never been one to place the blame directly on Williams after a round.

But after Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open, Woods left the entire sports world with a couple of cryptic quotes that gave some the impression that Williams was partially to blame for three critical errors that cost Woods a chance at the trophy.

Was Tiger calling Stevie out?

Here’s are the quotes in question:

“I didn’t know the wind was down. I thought it was more a crest and that brought the right side into play.

“I fired at the pin on 10. Steve said take dead aim right at it and, in my heart, I said, ‘No.’ There was no chance. I have a sand wedge in my hand and I can’t play at that flag.

“I had a 10-, 15-footer after that because I aimed at Greg (Havret’s) ball. I went against my own things I know and hit the ball to the right and then hit the wrong club on No. 12 (too).

“My instincts were telling me to hit a 5 (iron), play it to the right, just draw it in there. We thought 4 would be better, hold it up against the wind, and I made just an awful swing.”

Notice how Woods uses the words “my” and “I” to distance himself from Williams’ decisions. However, look at how Tiger uses the word “we” in the final quote regarding the decision to hit the 4-iron in place of the 5.

While I’m not going to overanalyze his quotes, it would seem that Woods is placing a portion of the blame on Williams for knocking him out of contention. Could these quotes show a strain between the player and caddie? Possibly.

Given everything Woods has been through, there was talk that Woods would have been better off dropping Williams after his return, signifying a clean start. Williams, as you’ll recall, was very critical of Woods’ off-the-course escapades, and made it clear that he didn’t condone the lifestyle he was leading.

Thing went quiet before Woods came out and made it clear that Stevie was his guy. Even still, the vote of confidence wasn’t very strong, leaving many to wonder if the two were on the outs.

After reading Tiger’s comments, one would assume there’s a lot of underlying tension going on between the two. Williams wouldn’t comment on Tiger’s remarks, making the situation even more intriguing. It’s reached a boiling point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see a press release with the words “decided to go our separate ways” in the coming months.


Written by Jonathan Wall

06/22/2010 at 4:49 pm

One Response

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  1. Williams is holding out….. but why? TW is obviously not in control of his mind or game. Not to mention the players know his confidence is gone, they don’t fear him or his game at this stage.


    03/06/2011 at 11:58 am

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