Phil Fires Back: "After seeing Steve Williams' comments all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones on my bag" **
So Sunday, the target of Steve Williams issued a statement. And curiously, as of 11:32 EST Sunday night, The Guardian's Lawrence Donegan is the only one to report it:
The sedate world of professional golf is unused to such unvarnished opinions being thrown around in public and Mickelson made his unhappiness clear. "After seeing Steve Williams' comments all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones (his caddie, Jim Mackay) on my bag and representing me," the American left-hander said.
Mickelson also said a "joke" told by Williams in which the player was heckled by a fan over his weight during this year's US Open at Torrey Pines was "a total fabrication". "It is based on an incident on the 17th hole during a practice round of the US Open at Bethpage in 2002 that involved a European Tour player. The story has been retold often but Woods and Williams were not present at that incident," he said.
Obviously I'm entertained by the drama at play here and how it'll impact future Tiger-Phil pairings, but I'm also fascinated by the media reaction.
If Tiger Woods passes gas, the media grills him about the odor and his emotions before-during-after the passage. Follow ups will probe how hard the eruption made Stevie laugh and finally, if Elin had any thoughts on the matter.
Yet Tiger's ticking time bomb caddie, who works for someone with a no tolerance policy on questionable behavior from the people he surrounds himself with, fabricates a story and puts down the world's No. 3 player in demeaning fashion. But only one paper and no major golf website is picking up Mickelson's statement, with minimal or zero coverage of the overall controversy.
So is this because it's a silly season weekend when already slim coverage becomes less of a priority or this dereliction of duty driven by a fear of upsetting Team Tiger?
Or ominously for us readers, a combo platter deal?
**As of 10 a.m. EST Monday, only golf.com has added Mickelson's statement, linking to Donegan's Guardian story. Nothing about the controversy on ESPN.com, GolfDigest.com, Golfweek.com or Yahoo.com.