Tiger's ex-caddie exacts measure of revenge

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Tiger's ex-caddie exacts measure of revenge

From Comcast SportsNet Monday, August 8, 2011

AKRON, Ohio (AP)Adam Scott won his first World Golf Championship.

No one celebrated more than his caddie.

Steve Williams attributed Sunday at the Bridgestone Invitational to destiny. This was the first tournament for Tiger Woods in three months because of his injured left leg, and Woods first tournament since he fired Williams as his caddie after 12 years.

Williams was irritated at getting cut loose, and he made that clear in an interview with a New Zealand television station two weeks ago when he said he had wasted the last two years of his life sticking by Woods through all his trouble.

If that wasnt enough of an indication, one only had to see the smile on his face as the fans chanted Williams name walking to the 18th green. Or the way he pumped his fist when Scott holed a 5-foot birdie on the final hole for a four-shot victory.

And the interviewsyes, interviewsthat Williams gave after Scott signed for a 5-under 65.

Williams has only spoken to a few reporters he knows over the years, but he had so many media around him after the tournament ended that all anyone could see was the Titleist capnot the familiar Nike TW brandon his head.

Woods shot a 70 to tie for 37th, 18 shots behind, and his interview transcript was only 1 12 pages. Williams didnt hit a shot all day and a transcript of his interview was nearly twice as long.

Even more shocking was how Williams described the feeling.

Ive caddied for 33 years145 wins nowand thats the best win Ive ever had, Williams told CBS Sports on the 18th green. This from a guy whose 12 years working for Woods featured 13 majors and 16 world titles among 72 wins worldwide. That includes the 2001 Masters, when Woods won an unprecedented fourth straight major.

Scott didnt seem to mind that Williams comment became a bigger story than the 31-year-old Australian going the final 26 holes without a bogey for a win that moved him up to No. 9 in the world.

Told about Williams comment that this was his best week as a caddie, Scott smiled and winced.

Hes obviously really happy to get a win, he said.

As for the distraction? Scott is used to it by now. Williams first worked for him at the U.S. Open, the first step toward Woods deciding to end the partnership, and he has been hounded by questions all week about using Woods former caddie and how much a difference it would make for him.

I can talk about Steve now and not Tiger, Scott said to laughter, alluding to the countless times he and other players have been asked about Woods. Im sure there are a lot of other golfers who wouldnt mind that, either.

It added another chapter to a saga that never seems to end with Woods. His left leg looked good all week. His scores were pedestrian, but there were signs that his game is not terribly far off. And yet the week ends with him being mocked.

Woods pushed back his news conference at the PGA Championship one day to Wednesday, although no reason was given. It at least means he wont have to cope with the media for his first two full days of practice at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Lost in this soap opera was a strong golf tournament, and a command performance not only by Scott, but players chasing him, including 19-year-old Ryo Ishikawa.

Scott and Ishikawa were tied for a big part of the front nine, and Scott took a one-shot leadthe same one he started out with on Sundayinto the back nine.

Ishikawa stuffed his approach to 7 feet on the 10th hole. Scott hit his to 6 feet, and both made birdie.

Scott seized control on the 12th, when he chipped in for birdie to take a two-shot lead, then used his long putter to roll in a birdie putt just inside 30 feet on the 14th. On the next hole, Scott saved par with a 10-foot putt, while Ishikawa three-putted for bogey, and suddenly the Australian had a three-shot lead.

Ahead of him, Rickie Fowler played the kind of golf that usually wins at Firestone on Sunday. He had a bogey-free round of 66, but it simply wasnt enough to catch Scott. Luke Donald, the world No. 1 for the last 10 weeks, also had a 66 and wound up tied for second with Fowler.

Ishikawa made a bogey on the final hole for a 69 and tied for fourthhis best finish in Americawith Jason Day.

Today, I was on, Scott said. To win here at this place, a World Golf Championship, its huge.

It didnt hurt having Williams at his side. Along with his experience working for Woods, along with major champions Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd, Williams was on the bag for all seven of Woods victories at Firestone.

He has such a great knowledge of this golf course and the greens, Scott said. Hes seen a guy play incredible golf, the best golf anyone has ever played around here, so many times. He really guided me around the course nicely. So he was, no doubt, a help.

Scott finished at 17-under 263, the lowest score to win at Firestone since Woods had 259 in 2000 in an 11-shot win. He became the third Australian to win a world title, joining Geoff Ogilvy and Craig Parry.

With a three-shot lead, Scott thought about playing it safe on the 18th. Williams told him to take 6-iron at the flag, and Scott obliged with a shot that rolled past the cup and settled 5 feet away. When they got to the green, one fan shouted out, How do you like him now, Tiger?

By then, Woods was long gone.

After missing three months with a leg injury, he finished a tournament for the first time since the Masters on April 10 and closed with a 70 to tie for 37th, 18 shots behind.

I had it in spurts this week, Woods said.

While his old boss was on the mend, Williams agreed to caddie for Scott at the U.S. Open. Williams said he was led to believe that Woods was going to play practice rounds at Congressional, but only after the New Zealand caddie arrived in America was he told that Woods was not healthy enough for the U.S. Open.

Thats when Williams decided to work for Scott, and he worked for Scott again at the AT&T National, the tournament that benefits Woods foundation. Woods said he fired him after the final round that week, and they kept it quiet until Williams was done working for Scott at the British Open.

Woods said he told him face-to-face. Williams said Sunday that Woods fired him over the phone.

I was told on the phone that we need to take a break, and in caddie lingo, that means youre fired, simple as that, Williams said.

I was absolutely shocked that I got the boot, to be honest with you, he said. Ive been incredibly loyal to the guy, and I got short-shrifted. Very disappointed.

But he wasnt disappointed on Sunday. Its been awhile since Williams has smiled so much on the golf course.

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

BOSTON – From the outset of this season, the Boston Celtics were swimming upstream when it came to getting respect. 

No matter how many wins they racked up, no matter how many upsets they managed to pull off, they were never going to do enough to satisfy the court of public opinion which wanted one thing and one thing only from the NBA: A third installment of Golden State against Cleveland in the NBA Finals. 

The Warriors did their part by running through the West with 12 wins in as many playoff games. 

Meanwhile, the Celtics will try to not just stave off elimination tonight, but continue to delay what so many believe is an inevitable Golden State-Cleveland Final.

Boston’s Al Horford understands that while the league this season has seen lots of individual success as well as teams that have overachieved, the thirst for Golden State versus Cleveland remains stronger than ever. 

“We understand that’s what everyone has been talking about since the beginning of the season,” Horford said. “For us it’s just to focus … and play the Celtic way. And just come out here and fight and we’ll take it from there.”

The Celtics did that in Game 3 with Avery Bradley delivering one of the more memorable shots in the Brad Stevens era, a game-winning three-pointer that hit the rim four times before falling with 0.1 seconds to play as Boston squeaked out a 111-108 win.

Boston did a lot of good things in Game 4 and seemingly went into the half sensing that maybe just maybe they would even up the series at two games heading back to Boston for tonight’s Game 5 matchup. 

But Kyrie Irving picked up the slack for a foul-plagued LeBron James, lifting the Cavaliers to a 112-99 win which puts them now just a win away from advancing to the NBA Finals. 

Not only have folks both in the media as well as fans who have rooted for this series to be over, even merchandise sellers like Dick Sporting Goods have anticipated this series as already being over.

“It is what it is,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder. “It’s been like that all year; a lot of guys counting us out. At the same time, we’re trying to put ourselves in position to win each and every game.”

While that has been the goal, it certainly hasn’t worked out that way in this series. 

Despite Games 1 and 2 being at the TD Garden, the Celtics lost both games by a total of 57 points. 

And while they won Game 3 and had the Cavaliers on the ropes in Game 4 before losing, they know their chance to play NBA Finals spoiler is just about up. 

“We know that’s the Finals that everybody wants to talk about, what everybody is looking forward to,” said Boston’s Marcus Smart. “We understand it. But we work just as hard as these guys. We just have to keep going out there and working. We’re not going to give it to them, and stuff like that. We just have to make it tough on them.”

Red Sox' seven-run rally in seventh keys 9-4 win over Rangers

Red Sox' seven-run rally in seventh keys 9-4 win over Rangers

BOSTON -- Chris Sale was perfectly happy to sit back and watch the Red Sox hitters do the work this time.

Sale cruised into the fifth inning, then was rewarded in the seventh when the Boston batters erupted for seven runs on their way to a 9-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season.

But he didn't seem to mind.

"It was fun," said the left-hander, who received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than while he was in any other game this season. "You get run after run, hit after hit. When we score like that, it's fun."

Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more as the Red Sox turned a 3-1 deficit into a five-run lead and earned their third straight victory. Sam Travis had two singles for the Red Sox in his major league debut.

"I was a little nervous in the first inning," he said. "I'd be lying to you guys if I said I wasn't."

Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.

FOR SALE

Sale, who also struck out 10 or more batters in eight straight games in 2015 with the White Sox, remains tied for the season record with Pedro Martinez. (Martinez had 10 straight in a span from 1999-2000.)

After scoring four runs in support of Sale in his first six starts, the Red Sox have scored 27 while he was in the game in his last five. He took a no-hitter into the fifth, but finished with three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings.

"Guys pulled through for me when I was probably pretty mediocre," he said.

NO RELIEF

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter.

"Martin threw the ball really well and I came in with two guys on and couldn't get an out," Dyson said. "Sometimes they hit them where they are, and sometimes they hit them where they aren't."

Asked if he felt any different, he said: "Everything's the same.

"If I get my (expletive) handed to me, it's not like anything's wrong," he said. "Any more amazing questions from you all?"

SEVEN IN THE SEVENTH

It was 3-1 until the seventh, when Andrew Benintendi and Travis singled with one out to chase Perez. Mitch Moreland singled to make it 3-2, pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge singled to tie it and, after Mookie Betts was intentionally walked to load the bases, Moreland scored on a wild pitch to give Boston the lead.

Pedroia singled in two more runs, Xander Bogaerts doubled and Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked to load the bases. Dyson was pulled after walking Chris Young to force in another run.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx got Benintendi to pop up foul of first base, but Napoli let it fall safely - his second such error in the game. Benintendi followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 8-3 before Travis was called out on strikes to end the inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor was shaken up when he dived for Betts' grounder up the middle in the third inning. He was slow getting up. After being looked at by the trainer, he remained in the game.

Red Sox: LHP David Price made his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket, allowing six runs - three earned - seven hits and a walk. He struck out four in 3 2/3 innings, throwing 89 pitches, 61 for strikes, and left without addressing reporters. 3B Pablo Sandoval also played in the game, going 2 for 4 with two runs.

"He felt fine physically," said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who added he would talk to Price on Thursday morning to determine how to proceed. "We had a scout there who liked what he saw."

UP NEXT:

Rangers: Will send RHP Nick Martinez (1-2) to the mound in the finale of the three-game series.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (3-3) looks to snap a personal two-game losing streak.