Yesterday, Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters and he shared his win with the man who caddied for Tiger Woods for twelve years, Steve Williams. That wonderful moment when he shot a brilliant birdie on the 18th hole will never be forgotten, but he put it down to luck. "It fell my way today, there was luck there somewhere, I'm honoured."
His caddie, New Zealander Steve Williams has a controversial reputation. He started caddying for Greg Norman in 1982 and moved to the US in 1988 to become his full-time caddie. For reasons unknown, Norman sacked him and he was hired by Raymond Floyd and then worked for Tiger Woods from 1999 to 2011. In July 2011, Adam Scott hired him on a permanent basis after Tiger said it was time for a change.
It's not clear why Tiger let him go, but we can guess. Williams has a reputation of putting his angry thoughts into words and in November 2011, he made a racist remark about his former boss.
He was receiving a tongue-in-cheek caddie award at a dinner in Shangai. Players and caddies look forward to the annual event as the spirit is one of goodwill and fun, but Williams was still hurt and angry and couldn't resist taking a swipe at Woods. He told a stunned audience "My aim was to shove it right up that black arsehole." The British press jumped on the remark and beamed it around the world.
It's hard to imagine why this man, who has rubbed shoulders with elite golfers all his life, could say something so insensitive and offensive.
He released a statement of apology the next day but it was too late. A member present in the audience said "We knew Williams was an idiot, but we didn't know he was a racist idiot." A European tour officer was heard to say "Thank God he's not on our tour."
Woods graciously accepted his apology and told the press that he knew that Williams was definitely not a racist and they shook hands.
Adam's mother Pam Scott
There is a picture in Scott's High School Year Book in 1997. Next to the photo under the heading "Favourite Expressions" he wrote
If all else fails, birdie the last.
And he did.