Sunday, February 21, 2010

Caddie to protect Woods from hecklers on return

SYDNEY — Tiger Woods's long-time caddie Steve Williams said he won't tolerate any heckling from the public galleries when the world number one makes his eventual return to golf, reports said on Sunday.

Woods apologised on Friday for his "irresponsible and selfish behaviour" as the golf superstar broke his long silence on the sex scandal that engulfed him last year.

He admitted to a string of infidelities and confirmed he had been undergoing treatment in a rehabilitation centre, but did not confirm when he would return to golf, saying only that it would be "one day," possibly this year.

New Zealander Williams, 46, who has been carrying Woods's golf bag in tournaments since 1999, has a gruff reputation for not tolerating heckling or loutish behaviour in the public galleries when Woods is in action.

With Woods expected to come under further scrutiny on his return to the golf course, Williams said he would ensure that his boss had a "level playing field.".

"When I go back to work with Tiger Woods nothing will change," Williams told The Sun-Herald. "My job is to give him the best information I can and get him around in the fewest possible strokes.

"And as I have always pointed out, it is to try and give him a level playing field. Nothing will change from that aspect. I won't do anything differently."

Williams, who has been spending time in New Zealand and Australia during his golfing hiatus, said Woods's return to tournament play can't come quick enough for golf fans.

"There are always going to be people who are going to knock you for being the number one player in the world and being as successful as Tiger has been, there have been people who have knocked him anyway.

"I am sure there might be a few more, it goes with the territory.

"I think first and foremost, most people will be very excited to have Tiger back playing."

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