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  Monday, 23 July, 2001, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Caddies split on Woosie blunder
The shocked faces of Miles Byrne and Ian Woosnam
The shocked faces of Miles Byrne and Ian Woosnam
The man at the helm of Britain's busiest caddie school has put the blame on Ian Woosnam's bagman for the Welshman's Open nightmare.

But a part-time caddie and writer friend of Miles Byrne has told BBC Scotland that the golfer himself had to take the responsibility.

Woosnam finished third in The Open at Lytham but could have had an even greater pay day or the championship itself had he not suffered a two-stroke penalty at the second hole for having an extra driver in his bag.

Alan McGregor runs Caddie Connect in St Andrews and can hire out up to 200 caddies per day to golfers needing assistance.

He said: "The ultimate responsibility is the golfer's because he is the on that's contracted to the R&A to golf, but he delegates that responsibility to the caddie.

Concentrate on golf

"It was quite clearly the caddie's responsibility to look after his golfer.

"After all, here was Woosie leading a major championship, The Open Championship, about to go into the final round, the most important round of his life.


That's the caddie's job. He had got to check the number of clubs and he failed in that responsibility
Alan McGregor
"The caddie must let him concentrate on golf and I am afraid it just wasn't good enough.

"Woosie was not going to check that the cigarettes were packed, the bananas, extra gloves and golf balls.

"That's the caddie's job. He had got to check the number of clubs and he failed in that responsibility.

"Reliability is one of the major attributes required by caddies."

Golfer and caddie could have kept quiet about their discovery and hoped that no official spotted their mistake.

Great people

But McGregor said: "That's one of the great things about golf; the integrity is vital and, if Woosie had spotted it himself, he would have shopped himself.

"If they touch the sand with their club in a bunker, they shop themselves.


The pro is getting the big bucks, so he should really count his clubs at the first
Lawrence Donegan
"They are great people these professional golfers and it is one of the reasons why golf is a great game."

Lawrence Donegan spent a year as a caddie on the European Tour then wrote a book about his experiences.

He also knows Byrne well and Donegan said: "He must feel a complete idiot, because he has lost three or five or seven per cent of 200,000.

"But it's funny. Everybody blames Miles for not counting the clubs, but Ian Woosnam should have been counting the clubs as well.

"Miles is a great guy and a nice guy and it is a shame that he is getting the blame.

Big bucks

"The same thing happened with Jean van de Velt when he loast the Open at Carnoustie.

"It was not poor Jean's fault, it was the caddie's fault, yet the caddie didn't hit the shots.

"The pro is getting the big bucks, so he should really count his clubs at the first."

Donegan admitted that he too had fallen foul of golf's rules.

"There were so many really. There was a four-stroke penalty I picked up a tournament in France, but I was not the best caddie in the world and my pro was well aware of that fact," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Alan McGregor of Caddie Direct
"The caddie must let him concentrate on golf and I am afraid it just wasn't good enough"
Lawrence Donegan, writer and part-time caddie
"It is always the case that the caddie gets the blame, but I am sure he wouldn't have got the credit had Ian Woosnam won"
The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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23 Jul 01 | The Open
23 Jul 01 | The Open
22 Jul 01 | The Open
22 Jul 01 | The Open
22 Jul 01 | The Open
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