Steve Williams drives a good round

MAT KERMEEN
Last updated 05:00 04/12/2012

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The most recognisable and controversial bag man in international golf chipped in with a win on Saturday night but there were no greens or fairways in sight.

Steve Williams fought off a last-lap challenge from Tauranga's Chris Cowling to win round four of the DHL Speedweek series at AmPro Tools Woodford Glen Speedway on Saturday night.

A former caddie of Tiger Woods, Williams is one of the driving forces behind the DHL Speedweek - a gruelling saloon series that features five rounds, in five nights, at five different venues.

"It's a really tough series; no-one else in Australasia runs a Speedweek format like this. Racing every day is a huge commitment. Just to finish the week is a massive achievement," Williams said.

Any celebrations at Woodford Glen were short-lived. A disappointing sixth in Blenheim on Sunday night meant he finished the series in third place.

Williams is competitive, has won the series before, and expects to be among the frontrunners.

But gaining a respite from golf is the main attraction.

"I love it; it's the best time of the year. The atmosphere amongst everyone on the series is awesome," he said.

"Everyone helps each other to try and keep all the cars going through the week."

As caddie for Australian golfer Adam Scott, Williams is used to clocking up the kilometres on foot, but the bag man was clocking them up on the South Island state highways last week.

Speedweek started in Dunedin on Wednesday, moved to Invercargill on Thursday, rolled into Cromwell on Friday, up to Christchurch on Saturday and finished in Blenheim on Sunday.

A busy international schedule means speedway is a rarity but Speedweek is an event that Williams never misses.

Unfortunately for Williams, he is unlikely to attend the New Zealand super saloon championships that will be contested in Canterbury in February. The event clashes with a tournament in Los Angeles.

Williams drives in both the saloon and super saloon grades.

Saturday's event was the first time the series had visited Woodford Glen and Williams qualified to start from the final from the front row. Tauranga ace Cowling challenged all the way through the 20-lap final, but Williams blocked Cowling's chance and crossed the line first to clinch round four. Cowling had the last laugh though, winning the series from Auckland's Nigel Ross.

Nelson's Nick Fowler became just the third driver to win three South Island super stock championships with a determined drive to win the final two heats.

Nelson clubmates Dale McKenzie and Jarred Gray filled the podium spots.

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Luke Keegan showed why he was hot favourite for the Canterbury modified championships, scorching his way to two wins and a second to score a comfortable victory over fellow Cantabrians Dan Rae and Mike Gourley.

- Canterbury

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