Tiger Woods' former caddie took a racially-charged shot at his old boss during an awards roast in Shanghai, then apologized the next day.
Steve Williams, who caddied for Woods for 13 years before being unceremoniously dismissed, then helped his new boss Adam Scott win the Bridgestone Invitational, received a mock award Friday night for "Celebration of the Year" for calling the victory "the best win of my life."
"It was my aim to shove it right up that black a------." Williams said, drawing some laughs and some gasps.
Comments are traditionally off the record, but word got out and Williams was stunned to learn that British tabloids had gone with the story.
"I apologize for comments I made last night at the Annual Caddy Awards dinner in Shanghai," he later said in a statement. "Players and caddies look forward to this evening all year, and the spirit is always joking and fun. I now realize how my comments could be construed as racist. However, I assure you that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to Tiger and anyone else I've offended."
Woods had no comment, but his agent said the golfer was aware of the story.
"I was with Tiger last night when he heard the news," Mark Steinberg told The Associated Press. "We got multiple calls from people who sounded like they were leaving the caddie party. Tiger obviously wasn't there. He doesn't know exactly what was said. But if multiple reports -- which all seem to be accurate -- are true, then it's sad it's come down to this."
"It's a regrettable comment, and there's really nothing that Tiger can do or say. He's just going to move on."
Golf legend Greg Norman, who employed Williams before Woods did, said the caddie is not a bigot..
"Steve's not a racist," said Norman. "His stupid comment became news - he probably regrets it. I guarantee there were heavier things said that night."
The flap laid bare the animosity Williams still feels after getting fired this summer, despite showing loyalty to Woods during his sex scandal. Williams resurfaced quickly as Scott's caddie, and in their first tournament, Scott won. Williams made clear at the time the victory was especially sweet, even as his old boss continued to struggle.