Tiger defends ex-caddie after the Kiwi apologised for racially abusing him
Tiger Woods has attempted to draw a line under the race row sparked by Steve Williams by insisting his former caddie is "not a racist" and has apologised for his comments.
Tiger Woods and Steve Williams in happier times. Pic/Getty Images
Williams, who was sacked by the ex-world number one during the summer after 13 years together and is now caddy for Australian Adam Scott, told the audience at a caddies awards dinner in Shanghai on Friday that the aim of his celebration when Scott won a world championship in August was "to shove it right up that black a*******".
But Woods, speaking publicly about the incident for the first time, told a media conference at the Australian Open: "Stevie is certainly not a racist -- there's no doubt about that. It was a comment that shouldn't have been made and certainly one he wishes he didn't make."
Woods and Williams met this morning to discuss the controversial comments, and Woods is now keen to move on from the issue. "We talked this morning," said the American, who has slipped to number 58 in the world rankings. "We met face-to-face, and we talked it through. We shook hands.
"Obviously it was the wrong thing to say. That's something that we both acknowledge now. We'll move forward. He did apologise. "It was hurtful, but life goes forward. It's one of those things. We'll see what time does. Time does heal wounds and we'll see how that goes." Williams served as Woods' caddie for 13 years, and for 13 of his 14 major wins, before a fractious parting of ways this summer.