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Thursday, 18 November, 1999, 21:53 GMT
Faldo's caddie dumps her bag
In their last tournament together, at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Taipei

Golf's most famous caddie has turned her back on Britain's Nick Faldo amid speculation she is set to join up with Spain's teenage sensation Sergio Garcia.

Swede Fanny Sunesson carried Faldo's bag for ten years and helped him to win four majors but has decided to part company with the struggling golfer.

Her partnership with Faldo earnt her more prize money than all but the top women's golfers but as Faldo's slump into the golfing wilderness continues she has opted to look for more a more promising employer.

Secret of success? Always know your distances - and keep you rmouth shut
With her striking blonde hair and stocky frame, Sunesson commanded a wage plus a percentage of prize money, ranging from 5-10%, which has brought her a ten-year income of around 1m.

But Sunesson, who turned to caddying after failing to make it as a golfer, has always been gratious for her good fortune.

She paid to send a black South African caddie she met on Tour to college after she found out he regretted missing out on his education.

Some would say Sunesson deserved every penny she got for putting up with the mood swings of golf's most obsessive perfectionist, the darkest of which would surely have tested the talents of her own psychiatrist father Bo.

Sunesson guides Faldo during the 1993 Ryder Cup
It is a fact Faldo was always quick to recognise.

"Naturally I am very saddened and disappointed at Fanny's decision," said Faldo, who has partned company with two wives in the time Fanny has been by his side.

"She has been a consistent factor in my life over the past 10 years, both on and off the course, and during that time we have become great friends.

"I fully understand her decision and she, of course, goes with my good will and gratitude for the contribution she has made to my success."

It was Sunesson's bubbly nature which first tempted Faldo to ask her to work for him ten years ago.

She was working for Howard Clark in Australia in 1989 when Faldo, the then-Masters champion, approached her looking for a more spirited caddie than Andy Prodger, who was unable to coax him out of some of his darker moods.

"Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I might caddie for someone like him," she said. "I was in shock...of course I said yes, I couldn't say no to that."

Sunesson stands next to Faldo as he cradles the claret jug he won at the 1990 Open
Sunesson had decided to take up caddying as a profession after failing in her dream of becoming a pro.

Born in Gothenburg, she grew up in the Baltic port town of Karlshamn, where she picked up a golf club at six and was playing competently by the age of 12.

But after failing to make the grade she opted to take up caddying as a career.

At the time, a female caddie's prominence on the tour was a major talking point. Ten years later, it still is.

Many of golf's less progressive fans observed she was not cut out for such a physically demanding role.

Faldo cuddles his caddie after his 1996 US Masters win
She missed four tournaments through back pain in 1993 but Faldo had his 50lb bag adapted with special straps so she could sling it across her back to distribute the weight evenly.

Such bags are now commonly used by many golfers, male and female.

Her secret of caddying success is "Never be late, keep fit, always know your distances and make sure you know when to keep your mouth shut."

Her name has been linked to Spain's Gracia, who last week sacked his caddie Jerry Higginbotham , but she has given few hints of her future plans.

"I know it will be difficult to attain anything like it elsewhere," said Sunesson.

"He (Nick) has been understanding of my decision, which has been extremely tough to make. However, I do feel the time is now right for me to move on."

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