Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Controversial Kiwi caddie Steve Williams has now carried the bag during 14 major championship wins, but Sunday's at the Masters was the one he truly earned.

It was Williams' read on Adam Scott’s crucial winning putt at the second play-off holethat decided the destination of the Green Jacket and the first Major of 2013.
Without Steve's input, both Scott and Angel Cabrera might have been back out on the course on Monday. 
“He was my eyes on that putt,” Scott, 32, said.
Despite previously winning 13 major titles, including three Masters between 1999 and 2011 with Tiger Woods, and caddieing for the likes of Peter Thomson, Ian Baker-Finch, Greg Norman and Ray Floyd, Williams declared this latest experience the best.
“The winning putt might be the highlight putt of my career,” the New Zealander said. The light was fading and the rain continuing to fall as Scott lined up his birdie putt at the 10th hole. 
Unable to read the break in the murky twilight, he summoned Augusta veteran Williams.
“I don’t get him to read too many putts,” Scott said. “I could hardly see the green in the darkness. He’s seen a lot of putts at this golf course. Somewhere he might have been able to recall that one.”
Scott thought the 12ft putt would break maybe one cup’s width from right to left. Williams disagreed. “We knew it was a right-to-left putt,” Williams said. “He said he thought it was a cup outside, but I told him it broke more than he thought. It was at least two cups outside the hole.”
“Credit where credit is due for Steve Williams,” said Norman on Monday. “I could see Steve shaking his head. I said: ‘Steve’s overruling Adam on the read here, and rightly so.’ And then – boom – in it goes.”
Williams, 49, said: “To caddie for a friend for his first major is pretty special. To have the opportunity to caddie for the first Australian to win the Masters, I’m just so fortunate. ”
But after caddieing since he was 15 – a 35-year career that has made the New Zealander a multi-millionaire without ever having to swing a club – Williams admits he is looking forward to retirement. 
“As caddies, we all love the Masters more than any other,” he said. “But it’s a strenuous week. As much as I love coming here, I also can’t wait to leave. At some point in the near future, my career is going to end.”
There was genuine warmth between Scott and Williams as they high-fived on the 10th green. Yet canvass opinion inside and outside the game, and it is clear that Williams remains a deeply divisive figure.
More accurately, he is liked by a few and despised by many more. Some argue that you or I could have caddied Woods to major success in the 2000s. Others maintain he is a racist, citing his reprehensible comment about Woods in 2011.
The question worth asking, then, is what binds the disruptive Williams and the conciliatory, altogether more unassuming Scott? Perhaps it is a measure of Scott’s loyalty to his close friends. 
Perhaps Scott feels that the pair’s counter-intuitive dynamic generates a healthy creative tension. Or perhaps the answer is a good deal less complicated than that, and was demonstrated in the simple shake of a caddie’s head as a golfer lined up the most important putt of his life. 



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