JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- This is why Paul Azinger has become such a popular TV broadcaster.
The former Ryder Cup captain and major-championship winner, appearing on a Tampa sports radio outlet, summarized the Steve Williams and Tiger Woods feud better than anybody when he cut to the heart about what seemed so distasteful about the caddie's inflammatory, post-round comments Sunday night.
Williams had just finished caddying for Bridgestone Invitational winner Adam Scott, who had won in dominant fashion against one of the deepest fields of the year, but he turned it into a platform to vent his feelings about Woods.
"The old joke is when the player plays good the caddie says, 'we,'" Azinger told Tampa's WDAE radio. "But when the player plays bad, the caddie says 'he.' In this case the player played great and the caddie said 'I.'"
Azinger said the brushfire that broke out after Williams aired his laundry affirms and underscores where Woods is held in the public pantheon. To him, interviewing Williams was absolutely the proper thing to do.
"What it shows you is that Tiger Woods is a real lightning rod," Azinger said. "There’s a lot of emotion still wrapped up in whether you really like Tiger or can’t stand him. A lot of people have not liked Steve Williams through the years. He has not been a popular person amongst the players and the caddies, necessarily, and that’s OK -- he’s got a work ethic and people don’t like winners a lot of times.
"This situation was unique. I believe Stevie should’ve been interviewed. I wanted Adam Scott to win so I could hear what Stevie said in regard. It was as much what he said that did the damage. It became a 'me, me, me' or 'I, I, I' fest and he didn’t say how great Adam Scott played.
"When he said it was the greatest week of my life, I don’t know how anybody could believe that, and it just shows you there is a lot of bitterness and animosity towards Tiger still and the way he was let go [fired]. Probably some of it is justified, but he should’ve given Adam Scott his props and then lit Tiger up and I think everybody would’ve thought differently."
Azinger was asked whether Woods has many friends or allies left.
“I know that he has to be angry at the media that tore him down," Azinger said. "He’s got to be angry at himself first. He’s dealing with the worst of all possible emotions and that is shame, and he’s not healthy.
"Who are his friends? I mean [his agent], Mark Steinberg? Come on."
The show host, Steve Dueming, interjected, "He doesn’t have anybody."
"Well, he brought it on himself,” Azinger said.