What Steve Williams Should Have Said

I’ve tried to put it behind me, but Steve Williams’ diarrhea of the mouth on Sunday still rankles.  Maybe I need to get a life.  Or maybe Stevie needs to get a press agent.  Put on the spot by CBS’s cowboy broadcaster David Feherty after he looped Adam Scott to victory in the World Golf Championship event at Firestone, Williams responded that it was “the most satisfying win ever.” “I’ve been caddying for 33 years and that’s the best week of my life,” he said.

Excuse me, Steve, but does it really rank above winning the Open Championship at St. Andrews – or any of the other 12 majors you won on Tiger’s bag?  Really?

I can understand William’s excitement.  Scott played brilliantly and Williams no doubt played a role in the win.  But as Paul Azinger pointed out, Williams broke “the unwritten caddie rule” with his sharp responses and I can’t disagree with anyone who says that he cast a shadow over Scott’s win with his blatantly vengeful words, as English golf pro Chris Wood opined.

“Williams has taken all the attention off Adam Scott’s fantastic win,” said Wood.  “Played great and nobody is talking about him.  Shameful.”

I can appreciate William’s apparent desire to stick the knife into his former boss, who, according to Williams, fired him over the phone after all their triumphant years together.  But still, Steve – how about winning with a little grace, man?

What Steve Williams should have said is something like this:

“I’m very happy for Adam.  He played beautifully all week and deserved to win.  And I’m certainly happy to have been here to help him.  It’s always nice to win, particularly when you’re just getting started with a new player.”

That would have been enough.  Everyone would’ve known what he really meant.  The subtext didn’t have to turn into the whole story.  But instead Williams launched into full-tilt hyperbole and once started, there was no stopping him.

In the heat of the moment, emotions often take over and words can get said that you’d like to take back.  But it’s not like Williams didn’t have time to think about what he might say to the voracious press as Scott’s victory came into focus over Firestone’s back nine.  Two minutes should have been enough.

Maybe it’s Tiger’s fault for corrupting him.  Maybe it’s just that Williams is just too brutally honest to spin anything.  But I find myself wishing now that Williams was still on Tiger’s bag.  In a way, they deserve each other.

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ABOUT: David DeSmith

David DeSmith is a New England-based writer and marketing professional who did bloody battle in the advertising industry for several decades before escaping to focus on golf and launching two regional golf magazines, Golf of Maine in 1998 and the New England Journal of Golf in 2001. David served as publisher and editor of both publications, while also writing feature articles on topics ranging from golf travel and course design to the people who play the game and the equipment they use. He also occasionally writes about music, if the spirit moves him.

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