Woods parts ways with longtime caddie Williams
Tiger Woods fired caddie Steve Williams on Wednesday, ending a 12-year relationship in which he won 72 times worldwide and 13 majors.
"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it's time for a change," Woods said on his Web site. "Stevie is an outstanding caddie and a friend and has been instrumental in many of my accomplishments. I wish him great success in the future."
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Woods did not say who would replace Williams or when he would return to golf. Williams had worked the last three tournaments with Adam Scott. That included the last two majors, which Woods skipped while trying to recover from injuries to his left leg.
The caddie posted a comment on his Web site that it "came as a shock." In a telephone interview, Williams said he was not upset by being fired and said he was proud to have been fired only twice in his 33 years as a caddie — by Woods and Greg Norman.
"But I'm disappointed in the timing of it," he said. "To be as loyal as someone can be, and with what one had to go through over the last 18 months ... "
The only caddies Woods has used in his 14-year career on the PGA Tour are Mike "Fluff" Cowan and Williams.
Tour leader Voeckler loses time in Alps
Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway won the 17th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, the first of three days in the Alps, while Thomas Voeckler retained the yellow jersey but lost time after riding off course on the final descent. Defending champion Alberto Contador made repeated attempts to get away from his rivals, but was caught on each occasion. He finished in the same time as Cadel Evans, the Schleck brothers and Samuel Sanchez.
Voeckler lost 27 seconds and is 1 minute, 18 seconds ahead of Evans. Voeckler went too fast on a hairpin turn, skidded onto the shoulder of the forested Alpine road, then raced back to try to catch Contador and Sanchez after they sped by.
Also Wednesday, Russian team Katusha confirmed that rider Alexandr Kolobnev's backup sample tested positive for a banned masking agent. Kolobnev became the first rider in this year's Tour to fail a doping control when his urine sample taken after the fifth stage had traces of hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that can hide the presence of other drugs.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Mourning leaves scene of crash, is sued
Former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning was sued Wednesday over a weekend traffic crash in Florida that raised questions about whether he improperly left the scene. The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed on behalf of 21-year-old William Candelario, who suffered head injuries in the rollover crash early Sunday near Miami Beach. Sgt. Thomas Pikul, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, said investigators determined that Mourning's blue Porsche Panamera struck Candelario's Audi A4 a short time after the Audi had collided with a third vehicle. "We've determined it was two separate crashes," Pikul said.
Mourning, the Heat's vice president for player programs and development, acknowledged leaving the scene. Investigators said he returned about 40 minutes later, in another car driven by his wife, Tracy. "I left and came right back. Left and came back. There was no panic at all because I didn't do anything wrong. There was a current accident already in progress," the 41-year-old Mourning said.
It's against state law to be involved in an accident and leave the scene. Pikul said no charges had been filed.
Sister of slain player seeks life penalty
The sister of a slain Middle Tennessee State basketball player says she hopes the defendant in the case spends the rest of her life behind bars. Monika Jones, sister of Tina Stewart, commented to The Daily News Journal after the arraignment Wednesday for Shanterrica Madden. She is accused of stabbing Stewart to death at their off-campus apartment March 2 during an argument. Madden's trial was tentatively scheduled for next Jan. 31.
Ex-Card McCoughtry scores 33
Former Louisville standout Angel McCoughtry scored a season-high 33 points to lead the Atlanta Dream to an 86-79 victory over the host Washington Mystics on Wednesday. "Before the game, I was thinking how I heard Michael Jordan say one time, he always picked his spots before the game — and that's what I did," said McCoughtry, who will play in Sunday's WNBA All-Star Game. "I picked my spots where I would probably hit the most shots."
Ivy League limits full-contact practices
In an effort to reduce the number of concussions and subconcussive hits, Ivy League football teams will be allowed to have just two full-contact practices a week, three less than the NCAA allows. The league announced Wednesday that the presidents of its eight schools have accepted a series of recommendations made by a special committee that put the Ivy League in a leadership role in trying to limit concussive hits in football.
Saratoga race to be named for Giffords
The seventh race on opening day at Saratoga Race Course will be named in honor of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering after being shot at a constituent event Jan. 8. "The Gabrielle Giffords," a maiden race for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies, is scheduled to go to post at approximately 4:21 p.m. on Friday and has drawn a field of 11. After the race, Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, will make a presentation to the winning owner and trainer. Giffords' chief of staff, Pia Carusone, is a Saratoga native.
The last word
Bob DiBiasio, Indians' senior vice president for public affairs, on the team's declining attendance this season:
"You'll always have your hard-core fans. But the casual fans, well, I guess that's why they're called casual."