Racism row moves to Sydney

2011-11-07 07:25
Steve Wiliams (Getty Images)
Sydney - Outspoken caddy Steve Williams is due in Sydney this week with organisers of the Australian Open saying his racial slur about former boss Tiger Woods has added "another dimension" to the tournament.

New Zealander Williams, who was Woods' caddy for 13 of his 14 Major titles before being sacked earlier this year, referred to the former world number one as a "black arsehole" during an awards dinner on Friday night in Shanghai.

His remarks were widely condemned but his current employer, Australian Adam Scott, has refused to fire him and he is set to carry the world number eight's bag at this week's event in Sydney.

Woods is also playing but the possibility of Scott and Woods being paired up on Thursday and Friday has been ruled out.

"It has nothing to do with the incident that was spoken about over the weekend. It was never going to happen anyway. No chance," tournament director Tony Roosenburg was quoted as saying Monday in Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

In separate comments carried by the Sydney Morning Herald, Roosenburg admitted the row sharpened interest in the tournament.

"It is a very sensitive subject and I'm certainly not commenting on that," he said about the Williams slur.

But he went on: "I don't think it's doing the Open any harm. Certainly not, it's adding another dimension.

"Was I looking for this sort of build-up? No, but you take it when you can get it. The Tuesday media conference (with Woods) will now be bigger than it was already.

"We as promoters are mega, mega excited that Tiger is coming. It's a massive coup, a massive coup for Sydney."

Williams, 47, posted an online statement Saturday apologising to Woods and admitting his comments "could be construed as racist" after learning of the uproar.

Woods has been in Perth over the weekend on private business and is expected in Melbourne on Monday, reportedly for a round of golf with cricketer Shane Warne, his fiancée Liz Hurley, and media and gaming tycoon James Packer.

The troubled star has not won since the 2009 Australian Masters in Melbourne and will be hoping The Lakes course, regarded as one of the best wet-weather courses in the region, can help turn around his fortunes.

The Australian Open also features Woods' fellow Americans Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, and Australians Geoff Ogilvy, the defending champion, and two-time major runner-up Jason Day.

It is played the week before the Presidents Cup in Melbourne, with captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples also competing in Sydney.

Read more on:    australian open  |  steve williams

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who will win the 2016 edition of the Ryder Cup?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.