Adam Scott is getting more attention than usual as he warms up this week at the US Open, and not only because he is coming off a runner-up finish in his most recent major, the Masters.
It was because of the man carrying his clubs.
Steve Williams, the caddie for Tiger Woods since March 1999 and for a record 13 majors, agreed to work for Scott, a 30-year-old Australian. Despite speculation, Williams is temporarily filling in. Woods is out of the US Open with injuries to his left leg, and Scott is in the process of finding a new caddie.
Asked if this could be a long-term relationship, Scott said: "No. He is Tiger's guy and that's how it is."
Williams also will be at the AT&T National outside Philadelphia in two weeks, working either for Scott or Woods, if his regular boss has returned by then.
But if it was strange for fans to see Williams tending to Scott, it was slightly odd for the New Zealand caddie, too.
"I haven't caddied for another player since I started with Tiger," Williams said.
Scott said he was lucky to have Williams.
He was not sure he would be available until last week, when Woods announced he was not fit enough to play at Congressional, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Scott and Williams have known each other for years, dating to when Scott first turned professional and worked with swing coach Butch Harmon.
Woods was also working with Harmon at that time.
And 10 years ago, when Scott was between caddies, it was Steve Williams who suggested he take his younger brother, Phil, to work a few tournaments in Australia.
"He's been a good friend to me, a bit of a confidant in my career," Scott said.
"I thought it would be worth a call, seeing as I'm between guys. I'm glad he hopped on a plane and came over - got to make the most of him."
Scott said Williams has seen enough of him in practice rounds and competition over the years to know his game. Scott tried to keep this all in perspective, especially when asked how much he relies on a caddie during a round, such as reading putts.
"Look, I generally try to go play my game," Scott said. "But if they pay attention the whole day and if I do have a question, they know what to do. That's what a good caddie is all about.
"There's a reason why I'm here. It's because I know how to play. If I don't trust myself or my instincts, a good caddie knows when to step in and say the right thing."
* Associated Press