By John Strege
It generally is not news, given the frequency with which it happens, when a tour player fires a caddie. But when a caddie quits on a tour player? And in mid-round? Now that’s news.
It happened on Saturday at the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship (formerly known as the Reno-Tahoe Open), when Michael Lawson, who has caddied for Brian Stuard for three years, “dropped the bag and walked off the course,” the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Dan Hinxman reported.
Lawson and Stuard apparently were arguing for several holes before Lawson suddenly quit on the 12th hole. A woman in the gallery, Christy Atencio, wearing a dress and flip-flops, stepped up to carry Stuard’s bag for the final six holes. Chad Munoz, an assistant pro at Montreux Golf and Country Club, caddied for Stuard on Sunday.
Earlier this year, Stuard told Jackson Citizen Patriot writer Josh Olson that “he knows my game really well, and we have a nice working relationship. He knows what to say and what not to say. It’s been really good, and I enjoy having him on my bag.”
Stuard is in the PGA Championship field, though it is not certain who will caddy for him.
Last year, LPGA player Jessica Korda made news by dismissing her caddie Jason Gilroyed in the middle of the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open and replacing him with her boyfriend Johnny DelPrete.
Australian Robert Allenby, meanwhile, has had a caddie quit on him in mid-round twice, most notably Michael Waite during the 1995 British Open at St. Andrews.
“He picked up my bag over his head and threw it about 100 yards,” Allenby told the Associated Press. “I had to carry it myself up to the green, but he was waiting for me when I got there. He said, ‘I'm a professional, I'll finish the round.’ And I birdied four of the last 10 holes.”