Tiger’’s caddy regrets calling rival Mickelson a prick

December 16th, 2008 - 1:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Wellington, Dec.16 (ANI): Golfing champion Tiger Woods New Zealand caddie Steve Williams has expressed regret over his disparaging remarks about American golfer Phil Mickelson, and hopes it is the last shot played in a controversial episode which quickly spanned the globe.
Williams, who caddies for world No 1 Tiger Woods, found himself the central figure in an escalating incident after referring to Mickelson as a prick, stuff.co.nz reports.
The comment, made at a charity function in New Plymouth, was reported by the local newspaper and later picked up by The Guardian newspaper in London.
It bounced back down the wires to New Zealand where a Sunday newspaper confirmed the accuracy of the original report, then detoured to the United States where international news agency Associated Press (AP) contacted Williams at his New Zealand home.
All the while Mickelson criticised Williams, Woods said he was disappointed at his bagman’’s comments.
Woods criticised his caddie and said he would handle it privately.
“I was disappointed to read the comments attributed to Steve Williams about Phil Mickelson, a player that I respect. It was inappropriate. The matter has been discussed and dealt with,” Woods said in a statement.
Williams today moved to downplay the entire affair, saying he regretted opening his mouth in the first place.
Williams was originally quoted as saying he would not call Mickelson a great player “because I think he’’s a prick”.
He later confirmed making the comment and said it was no secret they did not get along.
Mickelson’’s management company also issued a statement, responding to what it called “grossly inaccurate and irresponsible statements” by Williams.
It included a comment from Mickelson.
“After seeing Steve Williams” comments, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones (Jim Mackay) on my bag and representing me,” Mickelson said.
Williams, who is coming up on the 10-year anniversary of working for the world’’s No 1 player, said he was speaking at a charity dinner for his foundation when he made the comment. (ANI)

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