Sports / Golf

Ex-caddie suggests Tiger's injuries self-inflicted

By Agencies (China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-24 08:29

According to his former caddie Steve Williams, Tiger Woods' long-term injuries might have been self-inflicted due to his intense training regimen.

"I don't doubt Tiger will come back to the winner's circle," Williams said in an interview with the BBC.

"But whether he comes back and wins more major championships? That's going to be a very difficult task," said the New Zealander.

Williams was Woods' right-hand man between 1999 and 2009, carrying his bag for 13 of the American's 14 major victories and an astonishing 84 tournament wins in all.

"He has an incredible work ethic, when he can work hard, so I wouldn't go as far as saying he won't get back into the winner's circle because one thing he does know how to do is win," Williams said.

The former world No 1 has plummeted to 467th in the rankings having not picked up a club competitively after undergoing two back operations in September and October.

Williams agreed when his interviewer suggested Woods' spate of injuries was "self-inflicted" by an intense training and strengthening program in his younger days.

"It's very hard to pinpoint how he's got to where he is now, but there's a lot of merit in what you've just said," Williams said.

"When he looks back he might question some of the activities he did, some of the gym work he might have done that had all these injuries escalate."

Williams now works part-time for Adam Scott and will carry for the Australian when the season's first major, the US Masters, begins at Augusta in two weeks.

Masters dinner

Masters champions will have Texas barbecue on the menu at Augusta National.

The confusion was over what brand.

Ben Crenshaw, a two-time champion who leads the conversation at the dinner, said Monday night that Jordan Spieth had chosen Salt Lick Barbecue to be served.

Crenshaw called it a "great choice from right here in Austin, Texas".

The state's capital city is where Spieth went to college. But that's not to say it's where the barbecue is being prepared.

"I didn't select Salt Lick. I don't know where that was spread from," Spieth said on Tuesday.

"Augusta National always makes the meals. So they asked, 'What do you want to have for your meal?' and I said I'd love to do some Texas barbecue. So they kind of go out and search for a way to make it based on popular places.

"I'm not sure what it's exactly going to be, but I'm pretty excited about it."

Wherever it is from, Crenshaw is sure to enjoy it. He hosted his first dinner in 1985 and said the food was based on what Augusta National had on the menu.

"I think it started very soon after that the champion got to pick his own menu," Crenshaw said. "So it gave a real personality to the player."

Mickelson's return

Phil Mickelson is back in the Match Play for the first time in five years.

Part of it was because he was not a fan of the Arizona courses where the tournament was held for eight years. And there were times when the Match Play was the same week as spring break for his children.

But he can expect to stay longer than usual. Mickelson has played on Friday at Match Play only twice in the past 10 years. Now there is a round-robin format for group play, meaning he is guaranteed at least three matches.

"I think that's a good thing for the field," he said.

Mickelson played a practice round at Austin Country Club on Tuesday. He thinks his game is sharp. It is his course knowledge that is lacking.

"Nobody is going to be really sharp on the golf course," Mickelson said. "But I don't feel as prepared as I like heading into a tournament. But my game feels sharp, it's the course knowledge that isn't quite sharp."

Spieth and Pieters

Jordan Spieth's career took a brief detour thanks to Thomas Pieters.

They played a practice round late on Tuesday afternoon at the Match Play, and it brought to mind one of their many encounters as amateurs.

It was the first round of the US Amateur at Cherry Hills in 2012. Pieters holed out for a two on the opening hole and went on to win on the 18th hole. Pieters then was eliminated in the second round.

"I remember thinking that if I do well here, I'm turning pro," Spieth said.

Because he lost, he called up University of Texas golf coach John Fields and asked if he could return to the Longhorns for the first semester of his sophomore year.

If he had turned pro, Spieth would have had four tournaments in the fall to try to get his card, and then Q-school.

He played one more semester, went to Q-school and did not get out of second stage.

Spieth still turned pro - and it's worked out for him.

Ex-caddie suggests Tiger's injuries self-inflicted

Masters field

This is the final week to get into the Masters as a top-50 in the world ranking, presenting a great opportunity for seven players at the Dell Match Play.

Those not yet eligible are Jaco van Zyl (52), Rafa Cabrera-Bello (54), Thomas Pieters (57), Marcus Fraser (62), Matt Jones (63), Patton Kizzire (65) and Thorbjorn Olesen (66).

It is not as simple as just winning their groups to get to the round of 16 because everyone else from the top 66 in the world also is at Austin.

The winner of the Puerto Rico Open does not get an invitation to the Masters, and the field is so weak that it would appear no one can move into the top 50.

The last chance for contenders after this week is to win the Shell Houston Open.

Either way, this likely will be the smallest field at Augusta National since 90 players competed in 2006.


During his time away to rest a back injury, Ryo Ishikawa got married. Ishikawa has not played since the Phoenix Open. He says he is not sure when he will return to competition ... Rory McIlroy had a career-high six double bogeys at the Arnold Palmer Invitational ... Ben Crenshaw played the Masters for the final time last year. He said he might play nine holes of a practice round during the week. "I don't know if I can play more than that," he said ... New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko finished as runner-up on the LPGA Tour last week, allowing her to move into No 50 on the career money with $5,248,957, moving past Michelle Wie.

 Ex-caddie suggests Tiger's injuries self-inflicted

Jordan Spieth and Thomas Pieters chat during a practice round for the Dell Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday. Tom Pennington / Getty Images / AFP

Ex-caddie suggests Tiger's injuries self-inflicted

(China Daily 03/24/2016 page22)

Most Popular
What's Hot