By Alex Myers
It's been a strange year for Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard climbed a tree to hit a shot, had a run-in with Tiger Woods at the Players, and then blurted out an awful fried chicken joke that made the situation even uglier.
But Garcia looks like he's ending 2013 on a prettier note. A much prettier note.
Garcia won in Thailand over the weekend, but his girlfriend caddie, Katharina Boehm, drew most of the attention. Lost in her good looks was the fact that Boehm knows the game, having just finished a four-year career on the College of Charleston women's golf team.
Boehm is only the latest installment in a frenetic series of caddies for Garcia. We'll start in May 2012, when the player replaced longtime looper Glen Murray with Gary Matthews before the start of the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Garcia fired a 66 in his first round with Matthews on the bag, but wound up firing him just three months later after a missed cut at the PGA Championship.
Without a caddie and desperately needing a win to make the European Ryder Cup team, Garcia hired David Faircloth, a local caddie in Greensboro, N.C., before the 2012 Wyndham Championship. Garcia won the event, his first PGA Tour title since the 2008 Players, but quickly moved on. He hired Wayne Richardson, a friend and spotter for CBS' golf coverage, before the next tournament.
"[Richardson] is not a professional caddie, but I don't feel like I need that at the moment," Garcia said at the time. "I'm probably just going to do my own thing until the end of the year, and then at the end of the year I'll decide what's best for me."
Garcia kept Richardson through the FedEx Cup Playoffs and that year's Ryder Cup. But the caddie carousel continued when Garcia began 2013 with Greg Hearmon on the bag. Hearmon lasted for most of the season until being replaced by Neil Wallace prior to the 2013 FedEx Cup Playoffs. And then his girlfriend aptly filled in. Counting her, that's seven caddies in the past year and a half. Yes, two of those were for just one tournament (so far), but Garcia won both of those tournaments.
Wallace, who previously worked for Fredrik Jacobson and who caddied for Trevor Immelman's win at the 2008 Masters, appears to be Garcia's full-time caddie -- at least, for now. Then again, Garcia worked pretty well with Boehm in Thailand. Could that partnership continue?
"It's great to have her around, forget about having her on the bag this week," Garcia said after the third round. "Just a very positive person, a lot of good energy, that's what I love about her, and it's great to be able to go through this with her."
Keeping Boehm on the bag is not as crazy as you think, if you recall that Patrick and Justine Reed are a full-time player-caddie relationship on the PGA Tour and teamed up to win this year's Wyndham Championship. Go for it, Sergio! Something tells us you'd do OK -- and probably win back a few fans.