Steve Williams must remember the role of a caddie

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It will puzzle a lot of people why Tiger Woods decided to give his former caddie Steve Williams such an easy ride - in public, at least.

"Stevie is certainly not a racist; there's no doubt about that," Woods said in Australia as if he was leaping to the defence of a close friend wrongly accused.

The New Zealander Williams ought to be wondering how he escaped so lightly from his completely out-of-order comment in Shanghai last Friday. And not just from Woods, the object of his remark at a caddie awards dinner attended by players and officials during the HSBC Champions.

Whatever he thinks about Woods - and he probably has just cause to think a lot of negative things, even considering the millions he earned helping him win 13 majors - Williams should surely be ashamed of himself for bringing colour into it.

Yet his current boss, Adam Scott, decided it was not a sacking offence and the statement from the heads of the US and European tours, while considering what Williams said "entirely unacceptable", deemed the matter closed after the caddie's apology.

Now Woods wants to have a line drawn under the controversy and move on, as well. Wisely, Woods and Scott have not been drawn together in the first two rounds at The Lakes today and tomorrow. For Williams, meanwhile, the time is probably right to revert to the three basic jobs most players want from their caddie.

Show up, keep up, shut up.

* Press Association