World No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn to start 2019 season with a new caddie
Ariya Jutanugarn, the No. 1 player in the world, will be starting the new year with a new caddie, Amy Rogers of the LPGA reported. This comes after a season in which Jutanugarn won three times, including the U.S. Women's Open. She also won each award available to her: everything from money leader to lowest scoring average.
Daniel Taylor will be taking over her bag, leaving his fiance Pernilla Lindberg's bag. After nearly 200 LPGA starts, Lindberg won her first LPGA event with Taylor caddying for her in 2018. It was a major, the ANA Inspiration, and it required Lindberg to outlast Inbee Park in an eight-hole playoff.
Lindberg, meanwhile, has hired Roy Clarke as her new caddie. He caddied for both Jenny Shin and Sandra Gal during their first tour wins. Lindberg and Clarke met in European Tour Q School in 2009.
This isn't the first time Lindberg and Taylor have separated their professional and personal lives. Taylor had only just started caddying for Lindberg again in 2018 after a hiatus where he caddied for two other players. Caddie changes on the tour can be frequent, and break ups and new partnerships can happen for many different reasons. Taylor didn't want to comment on specifics of how this change to Jutanugarn's bag happened. But he said it's good timing for Lindberg and him.
"It's a lot of time together," Taylor explained. "It’s really fun when you’re playing really well and it’s all coming together, but golf isn't usually like that for long. It can be hard to have it not go well on the course and then go home together."
After her breakthrough at the ANA, Lindberg had one other top-10 finish in 2018.
Lindberg and Taylor weren't the only couple to share a player-caddie relationship. Sara Jane Smith was leading the U.S. Women's Open with her husband, Duane, on her bag. There she, too, spoke about how it can be difficult to have things not go well on the course with your partner caddieing. It's a topic whose intricacies and difficulties we covered in an Under Cover Tour Pro story.
Both Lindberg and Jutanugarn will be playing in the LPGA season opener with their new caddies, at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Florida.