Tiger Woods says Steve Williams is "certainly not a racist"

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Golfer Tiger Woods has said that his former caddie Steve Williams is not racist and has apologised to him for a slur

WARNING: This story contains language some may find offensive.

Tiger Woods has revealed he was hurt by Steve Williams's race comment but insisted his long-time former caddie "is certainly not a racist".

Woods added: "It was a wrong thing to say. We're moving forward. It was hurtful certainly, but life goes forward.

"It is a comment that shouldn't have been made and he certainly wishes he didn't make it."

Woods said he had spoken to Williams about the remark, but declined to reveal exactly what they discussed.

"We talked about it this morning [Monday], we met face-to-face, we talked it through and we have agreed it was the wrong thing to say," former world number one Woods said. "He did apologise."

Woods said he had "no doubts" in his belief that Williams did not hold racist views.

"It's one of those things. We'll see what time does," said Woods. "Time does heal wounds and we'll see how that goes."

The caddie has also apologised publicly for his remarks, while European Tour chief George O'Grady and US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem have decided to take no action.

"I don't make policy, I'm not part of the governing bodies and it's up to them," said Woods.

Williams, who now carries Adam Scott's bag, made the comments when he was awarded a light-hearted accolade for "the best celebration of the year" at a private caddies' dinner in Shanghai on Friday.

When the New Zealander, who was sacked by , was asked to elaborate on his celebration after , he said the aim was "to shove it right up that black arsehole".

Williams said on Saturday: "I now realise how my comments could be construed as racist. That was not my intent. I apologise to Tiger and anyone else I have offended."

Williams later told Newstalk ZB radio station in New Zealand that his comment had been "blown out of all proportion".

He said: "It was kind of like a locker room environment, everyone was having a good time.

"My comments were by no means the worst that were passed. There were a lot of profanities and other kinds of remarks but just because I make a remark regarding my former employee (sic) it gets blown out of all proportion. It's absolutely ridiculous.

"You make one comment in a room, having a bit of fun, how does that make you a racist? That's so far offbeat it's a joke. It's making a mountain out of a molehill and I'm not worried about it one bit."

Williams added that he did not think anyone from New Zealand could be racist.

"We live in a country that is a multicultural society," he said. "We live in a Maori culture which is a great culture and a there's a lot of island culture. I don't think you can say anyone in New Zealand is racist."

Williams caddied for Woods from 1999 until earlier this year and shared in 13 of the former world number one's 14 major victories. It is estimated he earned $12m (£7.5m) working for Woods.

Woods was speaking about the incident for the first time at a press conference to discuss this week's Australian Open.

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