Sport

DEREK LAWRENSON: It’s Wrong To Speak On Rory McIlroy’s Caddy Despite Bad Masters Show

Barely a week goes by without an email at this address “advising” Rory McIlroy to ditch the good friend who is his caddy and hire someone more qualified for the job.

But is there another role in the sport where the lines are so blurred that someone is supposedly qualified? It is also getting more and more blurry. Caddies used to fit a stereotype and lived by the motto: “Show up, hang up, shut up.”

Now, using wall-to-wall coverage and on-course microphones, we can see and hear how the role evolves and the requirements differ radically from player to player.

Rory McIlroy (right) has been criticized for using his friend Harry Diamond (left) as his caddy

Rory McIlroy (right) has been criticized for using his friend Harry Diamond (left) as his caddy

But good friends can help even-tempered golfers like Tommy Fleetwood (right)

Quote of the week

‘It wasn’t the most intelligent thing to do, although I can say with certainty that it was without malice.

But it was clearly wrong, and now he must accept whatever punishment Augusta National deems most appropriate.

“If they want to prevent him from going to the Masters in the future, that’s what they should do.”

Gary Player responds to the American website The Morning Read about the furor about son Wayne and his rude gesture at the Masters opening ceremony to keep a sleeve of golf balls behind Lee Elder to show off the brand.

Take Stewart Cink, 47, who was outside the top 300 when he dropped Kip Henley, widely recognized as one of the best caddies in the game. When he gave the job to 24-year-old son Reagan, you can imagine what people thought.

That was seven months ago. Since then, Cink’s career has gone through an astonishing renaissance. After finishing in 12th place at the Masters, the 2009 Open champion claimed his second PGA Tour win of the season after a front-running masterclass at the Heritage Classic in South Carolina.

He is now one place above Sergio Garcia in the top 50 in the world and is being talked about as a Ryder Cup berth. Leading the last three rounds is the hardest way to win a tournament, but Reagan proved the perfect solution as it became less of a cutthroat business and more of a family outing.

One of the main reasons behind Lee Westwood’s resurgence over the past 18 months is the fact that fiancé Helen Storey does an equally admirable job of lowering stress levels.

However, what the right caddy is for a player in their mid-forties is clearly different than it is for someone just starting out on tour. It still makes perfect sense for a young golfer to employ one of the hired hands who have seen and done it and still have desire and ambition.

For a player in his thirties, though, it’s more about chemistry when the tricks of course management are hopefully learned. With avid golfers like Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Wallace, it is clearly advisable to make strict business arrangements.

Lee Westwood and Stewart Cink (second right) have had success with less experienced caddies

However, if you’re blessed with an even temper like McIlroy or Tommy Fleetwood, it’s understandable why you’d want a good friend by your side, although it should be added that Harry Diamond and Ian Finnis, the two friends in question, are both . as dedicated as they come and fine golfers in their own right.

As for those at the time of life in Cink-Westwood, when you’ve seen so much golf, the main qualifier seems, ironically, to be someone who hasn’t.

What Makes a Great Caddy? If you are one of those who enjoy going in this direction regarding Diamond, feel free. But it’s a question that is a little more nuanced than it seems.

Ex-young arms Lydia Ko and Jordan Spieth are back in shape

How fascinating that Jordan Spieth’s resurgence in the men’s game should be mirrored by Lydia Ko’s in the ladies.

Two weeks after the Texan won for the first time in 1,351 days, it was the New Zealander’s turn to triumph on Saturday for her first win in 1,084 days. They were the untouchables in setting all kinds of age records before falling out of favor at the same time.

One of my favorite stats remains the fact that with 12 wins, Ko had nearly as many wins for her 19th birthday as any other female player of all time, combined (13).

Now, just a week before her 24th birthday, she has claimed her 16th after a memorable finish at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii, where Ireland’s Leona Maguire finished second to Nelly Korda.

Like Spieth, it was clearly a triumph ahead for Ko, who admitted she took inspiration from his victory in the Valero Texas Open. Who will be the first to go all the way back to the big winner’s circle?

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