Missing LinksDecember 3, 2016

The Congressional Country Club caddie whose playing dreams ended by Sierra Leone civil war

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FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE: People walk around the shacks in Freetown on November 28, 2006 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone was ravaged by a decade long civil war but peace was declared in 2002 and the country has struggled to get back on its feet. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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“Caddies aren't supposed to talk about themselves, and so most days at work, James Lebbie doubles up - lugging two golf bags and all their contents - and quietly humps it around Congressional Country Club in the midday sunshine, offering little in the way of dialogue besides fairway yardages, greenside reads and an occasional "great shot.”

“If you and your playing partner are not the curious sort, you could walk a few miles and while away an afternoon and never realize you had been in the presence of perhaps the greatest golfer ever to come out of West Africa.”

Dave Sheinen of the Washington Post with the story of Lebbie, a Sierra Leone native who played alongside Seve Ballesteros and Nick Price on the Safari Tour before a civil war there and “the land mine planted on the fourth fairway, the dried-up sponsorships, the lost opportunities.”

The next LPGA superstar?

Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden is relatively unknown, for now.

“Jean Reynolds, a three-time Symetra Tour winner who was paired with Sagstrom in the mid-April Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial, said: ‘She will be on Solheim Cup next year and I guarantee she will be top 5 or 10 in the world.’

Ward Clayton, writing for LPGA.com, has the story on Sagstrom, the Symetra Tour player of the year, who won three times and was in the top 10 in 11 of 14 starts.


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