In hopes of closing the Steve Williams matter, the International Federation of PGA Tours issued a statement condemning racism in sport after Sunday’s final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Williams, who was on the bag for 13 of Tiger Woods’ 14 major championships and now caddies for Adam Scott, blasted his former employer during the Caddie Night awards Friday at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai. Williams, in receiving the “Best Celebration” award for his comments after Scott won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August, said of one-upping his former player, “It was my aim to shove it right up that black a——.”
The tours’ statement of condemnation, released by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and European Tour counterpart George O’Grady on behalf of the Federation:
“The International Federation of PGA Tours feels strongly there is no place for any form of racism in ours or any other sport. We consider the remarks of Steve Williams, as reported, entirely unacceptable in whatever context. We are aware that he has apologized fully, and we trust we will not hear such remarks ever again. Based on this, we consider the matter closed, and we will have no further comment.”
Scott was shown the statement after his round Sunday and was comfortable with the tours’ stance, but the Australian was unwilling to budge from his stated support for Williams.
Asked whether Williams would be on the bag for the Australian Open and then the Presidents Cup in his homeland during the next two weeks, Scott said simply, “absolutely.”
“I don’t see it being an issue moving forward,” Scott said. “From my side of things and my team, the matter has been put to bed, and I’ve got nothing more to talk about it with anyone, so I’m moving on.”
The PGA Tour could have taken more severe action and suspended Williams as quickly as the Presidents Cup, according to Ty Votaw, executive vice president of communications and international affairs, but chose to admonish the actions instead.
Scott thinks the reprimand and his request to have Williams issue an apology that appeared on Williams’ website Saturday morning was appropriate.
“I don’t think digging for a story out of this from me is a good idea,” Scott said when asked whether his failure to suspend Williams would be perceived as condoning the caddie’s statement. “I had Steve issue an apology.”
Expect this issue to continue in Australia as Scott, Woods and Jason Day are paired together for the first two rounds of the Australian Open in Sydney.