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Tiger in race row

Tiger Woods is back in the headlines, this time through no fault of his own. Woods found himself on the receiving end of some unsavoury racial invective from his former caddie Steve Williams.

The New Zealand caddie Williams made his comments at an awards dinner in Shanghai. He had been awarded the "celebration of the year" prize for his exultant reaction after his new employer Adam Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational last summer.

At the time Williams described that win as the greatest of his career, a baffling remark, given that he had caddied at 13 major triumphs with Woods. At the awards dinner, Williams explained: "I wanted to shove it up that black a**sehole."

The remark was greeted with a sharp collective intake of breath in a room filled with many of the world's leading golfers and tour officials. One observer said, "I have never seen so many jaws drop in one room at the same time."

Williams went quickly into damage-limitation mode on his website. "I apologise for comments I made last night at the Annual Caddy Awards dinner in Shanghai," he wrote. "I now realise how my comments could be construed as racist. However I assure you that was not my intent. I sincerely apologise to Tiger and anyone else I have offended."

There was bad blood between the golfer and caddie when they parted company in June. Williams claimed he was sacked for taking temporary work with Scott while Woods was injured. Woods had said it was just "time for a change". It’s unlikely that Woods is regretting that decision.

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