Daily News photog was on 10th tee

Updated: June 18, 2004, 10:24 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Tiger Woods' caddie walked across the 10th tee at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Friday and kicked the camera of a photographer for the New York Daily News.

Steve Williams, who has been carrying Woods' bag for five years, kicked the camera of John Roca, who has been working for the newspaper for 33 years.

"He kicked my camera. I was holding it at eye level and he kicked it to try and knock it down and out of my hands," Roca said. "He came over and kicked it down and muttered something."

Williams left the course before being reached for comment.

Roca said he and three other photographers were taking pictures of Woods on the 10th tee, his first hole of the second round.

"We were kneeling down and ESPN was between us and Tiger," Roca said. "Tiger was not set. He was taking his practice strokes. We took a few pictures of him swinging, and while he was still getting ready and taking more practice swings, a photographer to the left of me took a few more shots. Tiger looked at me and the caddie walked about 15 feet to us lifted his foot. It happened so quick I didn't have a chance to take the camera away. There was uniformed security, and marshals were there."

Roca said he didn't go the USGA over the matter because he didn't want to cause any problems and didn't want to take a chance of having his credential taken away. He said there was no damage to the camera.

"I'm not going to do anything other than to say I was very disappointed and he was disrespectful," Roca said.

He left the tee and didn't follow Woods' group because he "didn't want to antagonize anyone."

The USGA did not get a definitive account of what happened and said no action would be taken.

At the Skins Game in 2002, when a fan took a picture as Woods prepared to hit from a bunker, Williams threw the lens into the pond surrounding the 18th green at Landmark Golf Club.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press