Georgia: Gloating comments made by Adam Scott`s caddie at the expense of his former employer Tiger Woods after the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational have sparked mixed reactions from players at this week`s PGA Championship.
While many players understood the frustration felt by caddie Steve Williams after being abruptly fired by Woods on July 3, others believed he unfairly took the focus away from a superb triumph by Scott at Firestone Country Club on Sunday.
New Zealander Williams described Australian Scott`s four-shot victory as the most satisfying of his career, despite having previously won 13 majors in tandem with Woods.
However, Williams hardly mentioned Scott in a post-tournament interview with CBS television, saying "I feel like I`m a good front-runner when I`m caddying" as he spoke mainly in the first person.
"I think Stevie was given the opportunity to talk and he had the right to say what he wanted to say," British world number one Luke Donald told reporters at Atlanta Athletic Club on Tuesday.
"The only disappointing thing that I found personally from it was there was no talk of how pleased he was about Adam winning. It was a little bit deflecting away from Adam winning.
"Obviously the caddie does play an important role, but I think if he had mentioned something about Adam, this wouldn`t have been an issue."
Second-ranked Briton Lee Westwood described Williams` comments as a "good dig" at 14-times major winner Woods.
"I thought there was no relevance to the interview other than to have a good dig at Tiger Woods in the ribs," Englishman Westwood said after playing nine holes in practice on Tuesday.
"It`s blatantly obvious that he`s a fantastic caddie because he`s won with all different kinds of players. I just didn`t see the point in putting him on TV," he said.
Television interviews with caddies, especially straight after the finale to a tournament, are almost unheard of.
"There`s obviously a bit of friction there," Westwood added, referring to the fractured relationship between Williams and Woods. "So, what`s the point?"
Williams, who has previously caddied for top players including Australian Greg Norman and American Raymond Floyd, was stunned when Woods abruptly decided to end a highly successful partnership dating back to 1999.
The New Zealander was axed after the AT&T National at Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, although the split was not made public until after the July 14-17 British Open to limit any distraction for Scott.
Williams later broke his own silence in an interview with New Zealand television, saying he was "very disappointed" and felt he had wasted two years of his life with Woods having been sidelined for long stretches by leg injuries.
"It`s the most satisfying win I`ve ever had, there`s no two ways about it," Williams said on Sunday at Firestone after Scott had clinched his first World Golf Championships (WGC) title.
"The fans have been unbelievable. It`s the greatest week of my life caddying and I sincerely mean that."
U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy felt Williams had gone a bit too far while speaking "in the heat of the moment".
The Northern Irishman added: "I definitely think it took away from Adam`s win. It was a phenomenal win -- he played unbelievable all week.
"Adam`s the one hitting the shots. Stevie`s obviously had a good influence on him the last four weeks or whatever it is, but Adam`s the one who ultimately gets the ball in the hole."