Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lighthearted Hate??

If you follow golf (...and there go about 98 percent of my readers for the day...please stop back tomorrow! I might discover a topic that you find even more boring), it's almost inevitable that you're either a Tiger Woods fan or a Phil Mickelson fan.

Notice I used "either/or" there. Because it's difficult to be both. I've broached this subject before on this blog, and have stated that while I don't dislike Tiger Woods, I am firmly entrenched in the Phil Fan Club.

Rarely, if ever, will you hear anyone utter, "I like them both equally, and I hope they're both very successful in every tournament they play!" No. If you're the type to invest your time watching golf on TV, or in person, you've probably chosen a side.

In the news recently, we learned that Tiger's caddie, Steve Williams, has chosen...Tiger. Shocked, aren't you?

But Williams made headlines by taking it a bit further than choosing sides, instead being quoted at a charity event as saying, "I wouldn't call Mickelson a great player, 'cause I hate the [expletive]."

This coming from a guy who, when he's been asked in the past to answer a few questions, has said, "I don't talk to the media, mate." Look who's talking!

Mickelson returned fire with a bit more subtlety, saying, "After seeing Steve Williams' comments, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones [Phil's caddie, Jim MacKay] on my bag and representing me."

Nice, Phil. Good jab.

It's no secret that Tiger and Phil aren't best pals, but they kinda sorta get along. Sorta. There are well-documented digs here and there from both parties, but for the most part they respect each other. Paired together during the Ryder Cup in 2004, golf fans must've thought that would be the dream pairing...the two biggest names, the two best players in golf, playing together for their country.

Um, yeah. They lost both the matches they played. Mutual respect and great talent does not always good chemistry make! (unscramble those words and you can make a real sentence, I promise.)

I'm all for Tiger drama and Phil drama, and even the occasional Tiger/Phil drama. Because golf needs all the excitement it can get.

But caddies? There are 750-plus comments on the ESPN story that I linked to above, and while I only skimmed a hundred or so (I do have a life, you know. wait! I watch golf!! what am I saying?), and there are plenty of differing opinions, one theme that gets revisited is, "Caddies should be seen and not heard."

Especially caddies that don't talk to the media.

Tiger's fired a caddie in the past for publicly discussing financial arrangements, because he likes his caddies to be "invisible." But this instance has a different twist, as Williams and Woods are close friends, and Williams was Tiger's best man at his wedding.

I don't think Tiger will replace Williams, and I don't think Williams and Phil, or Tiger and Phil for that matter, will start getting together every Sunday to play Chutes and Ladders.

Williams tried to bury the incident and his comments, saying, "It was not meant to be any harm. It was one of those lighthearted, funny things."

Seen and not heard, buddy.

"Nobody but you and your caddie
care what you do out there, and if
your caddie is betting against you,
he doesn't care, either."
—Lee Trevino


  1. Stevie better watch it. That's how Fluff (Mike Cowan, of white walrus like mustache fame) lost the his job looping for Tiger (allegedly...it's been said he made too many comments and drew too much attention to himself).

    But that didn't work out all that bad for Fluff, just weeks later he ended up on Jim Furyk's bag and has been there since 1999.

    Back to the original question, i'd have to say i'm a Tiger guy. Simply amazing what he does. And i'll be even more impressed if he gets back to where he was after knee surgery. I hope he's ready by April. Augusta National is not the same without him.

    Phil on the other hand is likeable, but it's almost as if he intentionally takes too many chances and crazy shots he doesn't need to take, that take him out of the running of a given tourney so he doesn't have to feel the pressure of battling Tiger down the stretch.

    And you're thinking, "THE KID, being a left handed golfer how can you not like Lefty?"

    Two words for you...Mike Weir.

    Left handed and CANADIAN!!!


  2. I hope Tiger's there for The Masters, too. He makes for good TV, no doubt about that.

    And I'm sure he'll have the same caddie on his bag that he's had for several years.