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Posted: August 9, 2011 7:29 p.m.

Taking the road less traveled

With the PGA Championship set to start tomorrow — here in Atlanta, I have to talk about golf at least one more time this year. I promise, I’ll switch to football after this week. Actually, I don’t really care about the golf this week. Instead I'll use the Steve Williams/Tiger Woods/Adam Scott love/hate triangle as an invitation to discuss the art of taking the high road.

For those of you in the dark, Williams was fired from working Tiger’s bag last month after he asked to go work Scott’s bag at the U.S. Open in June. Williams had been with Woods for 12 years. The tandem won 63 tournaments and 13 majors together. Williams, widely considered the best caddie of all time, has been on the bag for 145 wins. He carried Raymond Floyd and Greg Norman’s bag before taking over those duties for Woods in 1999.

Fast forward to this past weekend, when Williams picked up his first win on Scott’s bag at Firestone Country Club — a place he’d won seven times with Woods, and you had a story worthy of headlines. But Williams made those headlines all about him immediately after Scott’s win when he spoke about it on the CBS telecast.

In a 90-second greenside interview, which by-the-way is pretty much unprecedented for a caddie, Williams said it was the most satisfying win of his career. He went on to say "me" or "I" 27 times in that time span and didn’t really talk about Adam Scott, you know, the guy who won the golf tournament. Really Stevie? That was more satisfying than the 2008 U.S. Open — Torrey Pines, on wounded knee?

Williams had a chance to take the high road. He could have said how he and Tiger had a great run together and now that he’s with Adam Scott, he hopes to help him have success or how great the win was for Scott. Instead he used the national forum to air dry some dirty laundry.

Williams was viewed as the sympathetic figure in all of this, but I pose a question. If Woods wasn’t loyal by retaining Williams, was Williams loyal by asking to work with Scott in the first place? Think about it. You’ve been on top of the golf world for a decade with a guy. You’ve won millions of dollars. Then, you hit a rough patch. You get antsy and want to jump ship. So who really wasn’t loyal here?

I don’t know about you but if someone did that to me, I’d feel like I was bailed on. You were with me through the good times but you want to bail when times get tough? OK. Go on then.

Ironically, Williams may have done more harm than good for his image with his comments. This is often the side affect of going low. Some people are viewing Williams as the bad guy and feeling sorry for Tiger now. The bottom line is, Williams said his peace and the story isn't over yet.

John Daly summed it up best in an interview on the Dan Patrick Show when he said people are beating up on Tiger and he just needs to win again to put it all to rest. Tiger will win tournaments again. And when he does, it will be interesting to see which road he chooses to take.

I don’t care who wins this week at Atlanta Athletic Club. It will be interesting to see how this whole drama plays out that. Who would have though golf would rival the WWE?

I like to think, when in doubt, it’s always better to take the high road. It may feel better to go low at the time but in retrospect, it never is. I've been guilty myself of shooting low at times. We probably all have. Unfortunately, the high road is often the road less traveled. Maybe it's time to see where that road leads for once.

 

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