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Woods rip shows bitterness lingers

SHANGHAI — Already one of the most festive evenings in golf, the annual Caddies Awards roast was buzzing with talk that Tiger Woods' former caddie might be getting a prize.

One award was called "Celebration of the Year." Everyone knew who would get it and why.

The surprise was how Steve Williams ripped into his old boss with a racial slur that caused even more commotion involving the jilted caddie and golf's biggest name.

"He's a character within the game of golf, and whatever bitterness that exists between him and Tiger should be in the past by now," said Graeme McDowell, one of several players at the party. "It's unfortunate that it's going to rear its head again."

Williams, still angered over getting fired by Woods this summer, was working for Adam Scott when he won the Bridgestone Invitational. That tournament also was the first time Woods played since splitting with his caddie. Williams gave a TV interview on the 18th green and called it "the best win of my life," even though he had been on the bag for 13 majors with Woods.

Friday night, the host called Williams to the stage to collect his award and asked him to explain his enthusiasm. Williams, with a smirk, leaned toward the microphone and said, "It was my aim to shove it right up that black (expletive)."

On a night filled with banter and off-color remarks, this one was a show-stopper.

Williams later issued a statement apologizing to Woods. That was good enough for Scott, who said he had no plans to fire his caddie.

"I think everything in that room (Friday) night was all in good spirits and for a bit of fun," Scott said Saturday at the HSBC Champions. "And I think it probably got taken out of that room in the wrong context."

Woods was in Australia, though it didn't take long for the comments to get to him.

"I was with Tiger (Friday) night when he heard the news," agent Mark Steinberg said. "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."

PGA: Starting the third round with the lead, Fredrik Jacobson kept his mistakes to a minimum, knocked in long birdie putts on consecutive holes and wound up with 5-under 67 and a two-shot lead at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Jacobson broke by two shots the 54-hole tournament record and was at 16-under 200 as he tries to win for the second time this year. Two shots behind was Louis Oosthuizen, who birdied his last hole for 68.

CHAMPIONS: Jay Don Blake shot 5-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Championship in San Francisco. Blake had five birdies in his bogey-free round and finished at 8 under. Jay Haas shot a 67 to join Michael Allen (69) and David Frost (69) at 6 under.

LPGA: Japan's Momoko Ueda had six birdies on the back nine in an 8-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Mizuno Classic in Shima, Japan. Ueda finished at 13-under 131, ahead of Japan's Sakura Yokomine.

Woods rip shows bitterness lingers 11/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 5, 2011 9:49pm]
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