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Tiger Woods’ ex-caddie Steve Williams is in contention at the Open Championship

Adam Scott was not too proud to beg when it came to pleading for Steve Williams to return as his caddie for the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tiger Woods won’t be around for the Claret Jug-hoisting ceremony Sunday at St. Andrews, but his ex-caddie Steve Williams may well be celebrating his fourth British Open victory in a return gig as Adam Scott’s bagman.

Scott, who won the 2013 Masters and achieved other successes with Williams by his side, coaxed the former looper out of retirement in June for just such occasions as this week’s Open Championship. It did not take long for the duo to pick up where they left off, with Scott finishing tied for fourth at last month’s U.S. Open and playing himself into contention for the Claret Jug after a flawless second round at St. Andrews.

There’s little question that Scott needed something to ignite his game, which had little spark since he and Williams parted company in September when the caddie made it clear his full-time looping days were done. With the Masters win, three additional PGA Tour victories and a brief stint as the world No. 1, the Australian turned 35 on Thursday and thrived as the playing half of one of golf’s power couples for four years.

But with Williams racing cars in his native New Zealand, Scott’s career idled in neutral. Experienced caddie Mike Kerr enlisted with Scott in December and the two cadged a T4 finish at Doral in March. Between then and his reunion with Williams at Chambers Bay, though, the best result the two could muster in eight events was a T24, at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in March.

Desperate times and all that, and with the memory still vibrant of his painful loss at the 2012 British Open, when he collapsed down the stretch of the final round, Scott went all out in an attempt to lure Williams back to the course.

"I was begging and pleading for him to come out here," Scott said following Friday’s 5-under 67 that put him, at 7-under, just three shots back of 36-hole leader Dustin Johnson. "Unfortunately I have to admit that."

It did not hurt Scott’s case that the 2015 edition of golf’s oldest championship was taking place on the Old Course, where Williams and Woods teamed up for wins in 2000 and 2005. (The pair also won an Open Championship title in 2006.)

Whether the Kiwi can help the Aussie etch his own name on the Claret Jug remains to be seen, and some wonder if Williams gets too much credit for Scott’s success.

Others, including Scott, believe Tiger’s ex deserves all the accolades accorded him.

"It was the right call for me to make at this point in the year to get him back out and instill a bit of confidence in my game and get back in that flow," Scott said. "He's a huge factor in the way I've played the last few years. I have to absolutely give him credit for that."