Woods says ex-caddie Williams is not a racist

Updated: 2011-11-09 07:58

(China Daily)

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Tiger Woods defended his former caddie Steve Williams on Tuesday, saying he was not a racist and had apologized for a "hurtful" slur that triggered widespread condemnation last week.

Williams, who was Woods's caddie for 13 of his 14 major titles before being sacked earlier this year, referred to the former world No 1 as a "black a--------" during an awards dinner on Friday night.

The pair came face to face at The Lakes course in Sydney on Tuesday ahead of this week's Australian Open, where Williams is now carrying the clubs of Australian world No 8 Adam Scott.

Woods, 35, who has not won a tournament for two years - precipitating a slump in his world ranking to No 58 - said that the pair shook hands and agreed to move on.

"We talked this morning, we met face to face and talked it through," Woods told a news conference.

"Obviously, it was a wrong thing to say, something we both acknowledged now and we're moving forward.

"He did apologize. It was hurtful, certainly, but life goes forward," Woods said.

"No, Stevie's certainly not a racist, there's no doubt about that. I think it was a comment that shouldn't have been made and certainly one that he wished he didn't make."

Despite outrage over Williams's remarks, Scott has refused to fire the New Zealander.

Greg Norman, also competing in Sydney, defended the caddie and said there was no racism in golf, while tournament chiefs said no action would be taken.