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Tiger and Scott a dream Open showdown
Darren Walton
06:42 AEST Sun Jul 22 2012

Three-times champion Nick Faldo is salivating at the prospect of Adam Scott, with Tiger Woods' jilted ex-caddie on his bag, going head to head with the American superstar in a Sunday shootout at the British Open.

Scott and Woods were in second and third spot behind American leader Brandt Snedeker, heading into the third round at Royal Lytham and St Annes on Saturday (Sunday morning AEST).

New Zealander Steve Williams carried Woods' bags for 13 of his 14 major wins before the acclaimed caddie was sacked last July after 13 years of service.

A month later, Williams linked with Scott and triggered a firestorm with his cutting comment while celebrating the Australian's big victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.

"I've caddied for 33 years - 145 wins now - and that's the best win I've ever had," said Williams, who had also helped greats Greg Norman and Ray Floyd to numerous worldwide successes during his career.

The following day, Williams expressed regret for the remarks, noting they were "over the top" and saying: "I had a lot of anger in me about what happened (with Woods) and it all came out."

Faldo, working for BBC television, said Scott and Woods playing together in the final round of the Open would be a dream pairing.

"Maybe this is the ultimate pairing tomorrow," he said.

"We get these two together. That would be obviously what we want from outside the ropes."

Woods' history with Williams aside, Faldo credits the caddie for helping transform Scott into the major force he's become.

"Steve Williams has been a big help," he said.

"I've done this commentary for six or eight years and we've always been saying the bottom line with Adam, it's just like he's a little bit soft.

"He's a great player (but) come on, give it a bit of oomph. And then Steve's come on board - and they've obviously got great respect - and I think Steve has basically sat down and kicked his backside.

"He's said: 'Look, you've got the talent, mate. We've got to get on with it'.

"It worked at Akron last year. He came straight out on the bag and won. It caused all the fireworks with the comments afterwards. We thought great.

"I call it getting the right intensity, how you rev your engine ... Steve's upped him but then kept him relaxed."

Faldo also believes Scott's experience of finishing runner-up at last year's Masters, the first time he had contended at a major, has the 32-year-old primed to win the Open.

"I always talk about climbing the ladder, getting the feeling, throwing yourself in there, feeling what it's like with the whole experience of playing with the lead in a major," said the former world No.1.

"On paper, he is kind of the guy who has got all the credentials to finally step up. At 32, a great time to get on with it.

"And he's been playing great all year. We all marvel at his golf game. His golf game swing is fantastic.

"We talk about this golf course needs a draw. You've got to be able to work it into the breeze and he does that beautifully."


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