Paul Azinger was among a host of pro golfers condemning the New Zealander after Williams declared Scott’s triumph as “the most satisfying win I’ve ever had” in an apparent slight at former employer Tiger Woods, whom he guided to 13 major titles and seven victories at Bridgestone.
Critics were shocked that Williams, who routinely refused media interviews during his time with Woods, was happy to take questions as soon as Scott wrapped up his first World Golf Championship victory at Firestone on Sunday.
“Honestly that’s the best week of my life,” Williams declared at the side of the 18th green in an interview with CBS Sports. “I’ve caddied for 33 years and 145 wins and that’s the best win I’ve ever had.
“The fans have been unbelievable. It’s the greatest week of my life caddying and I sincerely mean that.”
On hearing his comments, former US Ryder Cup winning captain Azinger tweeted, “Wow! Really? In yo face TW?”
Azinger followed up, “Steve Williams breaks the unwritten caddy rule, by talking to the press. Most don’t, a few do at times when appropriate. #notapopularguy.”
“I think CBS did the right thing trying to get Steve W interview,” he added. That he accepted? Well he’s clearly ticked at Tiger #butbestweekever?”
English golfers Oliver Wilson and Chris Wood felt Williams undermined Scott’s achievement.
“Cannot believe they have interviewed Steve Williams,” Wilson tweeted. “Nice of him to take away from Scotty’s win. Says it all...”
US tennis star Andy Roddick also tweeted his surprise at the comments: “Has anyone seen the steve Williams interview from after adam scotts win today? Am I missing something? Was steve the one actually playing?”
Champion Scott, however, was happy to pay tribute to his new bagman’s role in his success.
“Obviously he has such a great knowledge of this golf course and the greens,” the Australian said. “He’s seen a guy play incredible golf, the best golf anyone has ever played around here so many times, so absolutely. He really guided me around the course nicely when he needed to step in and just make a point of where we need to be, he did, and had some great little notes in his book about putts on greens.”
But even Scott admitted to being surprised by Williams’ profile on his way to victory Sunday, with fans shouting out for the caddie over the leading golfer as the pair approached the 18th hole.
“I had no idea how popular a New Zealander can be, coming from Australia,” Scott joked. “It’s surprising. But no, obviously he’s a popular guy around here having won now eight times [the last seven with Woods].”