Title: It's Tiger vs. ex-caddie in US Open
Description: ARDMORE, PA. Five years ago this week, Tiger Woods played the first two rounds of the US Open at Torrey Pines with Adam Scott. It worked out nicely for him then. Woods beat Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff to win his 14th major. PGA TOUR WIN LEADERS Collecting trophies is a habit of Tiger Woods. He's now five shy of Sam Snead's record. On Thursday, he’ll open another US Open alongside the freshly minted Masters champion, hoping to end a major-less drought few saw coming in 2008. Maybe it will be a good omen for a man in need of good vibes at majors, but I’m not sure Woods wouldn’t prefer a different pairing. He has said all the right things about playing with Scott and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy at Merion Golf Club on Thursday and Friday, but the 800-pound gorilla in the room nobody’s talking about is caddie Steve Williams. Williams, a hard-nosed New Zealander with a rugby player’s mentality, is on Scott’s bag after playing the role of Tonto to Woods’ Lone Ranger in 13 major championship wins. He and Woods haven’t exactly cleared the air after their acrimonious parting in 2011. Indeed, at their first meeting after Woods fired Williams, I thought the Kiwi — who has the firmest of handshakes when he’s not pumped up — was going to break Woods’ hand when they shook on the first tee at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne. Assuming Tiger escapes with his hand intact Thursday, he’ll know that Williams, who ranks somewhere near Sergio Garcia on Woods’ Christmas card list, will have Scott raring to go. AUS-SOME! Adam Scott inspires a nation with his Masters triumph, Robert Lusetich writes. Not that he’s keeping score or anything, but Williams will remind his man that Woods hasn’t finished higher than Scott at a major since he joined him. And, of course, he’ll remind him of the success of their strategy at the Masters, which was to get off to a fast start. “The first hole’s just as important as the 72nd,” Williams likes to say. Scott, anticipating the interest in reuniting Woods and Williams at a major, played down their rift on Monday. “It will be a fun week, absolutely, some energy and electricity — playing with him at any time, there always is,” he said of Woods. “And given the hype around this grouping and being a major, it's going to be an intense couple of days.