Explain This One Steve... Please

By John Hawkins Illustrations by Leigh Haeger
December 15, 2008

'Twas the week before Christmas, and instead of a grouse, I thought I'd write something to go with my blouse. Something nice and harmless, girlish and sweet, not quite as churlish or so indiscreet. But then Tiger's caddie said of Philly Mick, "I wouldn't call him a great player, 'cause I hate the p - - - k."

Happy holidays, everyone.

Having branded himself as a human doberman, Steve Williams makes headlines only when he confiscates a camera or wigs out on someone for sniffling in Woods' backswing. Now he has taken on Mickelson, whose 34 wins and three majors are formidable accomplishments, personal feelings notwithstanding.

As birds of a feather, perhaps, the Angry Golfer gets along well with Williams, a bright, perceptive guy and ridiculously hard worker, but this is the stupidest thing he has ever said. His comments were made at a charity function, then appeared in a New Zealand newspaper, the story littered with inaccuracies, the most damning of which came from Williams himself. Caddies, like journalists, are obligated to getting the facts right, as credibility damage falls between dishonorable and intolerable.

Beyond those misappropriations, however, is the contempt Williams has for Mickelson. "He pays me no respect at all, and hence, I don't pay him any respect," Stevie told the paper a day later. In an attempt to justify his loathing of Lefty, Williams mentions the sour relationship between Woods and Mickelson and suggests Tiger will have no problem with his remarks, saying, "He knows the media. You make a comment and they blow it out of proportion and it's no big deal."

In this case, the size of the deal and width of the proportions aren't as serious as the depth of the motivation for Williams' venom. Why would you say such a thing, Stevie? Can you give us a good reason?