Tiger Woods' former caddie defended his use of the word "slave" in describing his working relationship with the former No. 1 player in the world.
Steve Williams came under heavy criticism when an excerpt from his book, "Out of the Rough," was released in which he was critical of Woods' on-course behavior.
In the excerpt, Williams wrote: "He was well known for his bad temper and, while that wasn't pleasant to witness, you could live with it because it ended as quickly as it started. But he had other bad habits that upset me. One thing that really pissed me off was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club, it was like I was his slave."
While Williams told the Australian Associated Press last week that he was disappointed his publishers chose to excerpt the chapter to a New Zealand newspaper, he took a different tact in an email to USA Today Sports.
"In this part of the world where slavery has never existed people use slave as a description of their service or work every day," wrote Williams, who is on a week-long book tour in his native New Zealand. "We use the word loosely down under. After reviewing the book several times before it was published it never crossed my mind to change the word. It merely was a description of how I felt about something and in no way in the context it was used does it suggest I was treated like a slave."
Williams worked with Woods for 13 years and was on the bag for 13 of Woods' 14 major titles, but has often been critical of his former employer since he was surprisingly fired in 2011. Williams has worked since then with Adam Scott, who lured him out of retirement last year and the pair is expected to work together in about 10 tournaments in 2016.
Williams said he should not be fired for the controversy over the book excerpt.
"As mentioned above we use the word loosely here and to suggest someone be fired for using the word would be unusual," Williams wrote in the email to USA Today Sports. "It was an honor to be asked to write a book and I'm pleased the way it turned out. The reviews from those who read the book are very positive.
" ... The book provides a rare insight into the life of a caddy and what it involves. As a youngster growing up in New Zealand I wanted to get on those amazing courses I'd see on the news from America and my story is proof that anything is possible if you put all the pieces of the puzzle together and that's the story I've told."