Caddies play a pivotal role in a player’s performance. The great Bobby Jones once said “If I needed advice from my caddie, he’d be hitting the shots and I’d be carrying the bag”. But yes, mistakes do happen and caddies are no exceptions to that. Such was the case in Ian Woosnam and his caddie Myles Byrne, our #2 on the list of the Costliest Rulings in Golf series. If you missed our other entry in this series click here.
It was a wonderful start for Ian Woosnam at the 2001 British Open – against all expectations he was in contention to win his first open at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s. Tied for the lead with three others, he marched with a lot more confidence into his final 18. He started the round with a birdie (missed a hole-in-hole by a whisker) at the opening par 3.
The tale then had a sudden twist as something dramatic happened. His caddie, Myles Byrne, came up to him and said, “You’re going to go ballistic” – “We’ve got two drivers in the bag” as he pointed out the extra driver. That meant Woosnam was carrying 15 clubs, which indeed is a two-stroke penalty.
Woosnam responded by throwing the extra club to the ground in disappointment. ‘I give you one job to do and this is what happens,’ he said. As a result of the penalty, Woosnam finished with 71 – four shots behind the winner David Duval, tied for 3rd place.
Here is what rule of Golf (4-4) says,
The player must not start a stipulated round with more than fourteen clubs. He is limited to the clubs thus selected for that round, except that if he started with fewer than fourteen clubs, he may add any number, provided his total number does not exceed fourteen.
It costed Ian Woosnam 218,333 pounds and a potential Ryder Cup spot. On the other hand, caddie Byrne lost anywhere from 15 to 20 thousand pounds in caddy earnings.
Below is the final leaderboard of the 2001 Open:
Woosnam surprisingly decided not to fire him stating: “It is the biggest mistake he will make in his life. He won’t do it again. He’s a good caddie. I am not going to sack him. He’s a good lad.”
Ironically, Woosnam did fire his caddie two weeks later when, after a night drinking on the town, Byrne slept in and failed to turn up to tee-time.
Byrne was last seen lugging bricks, having become a construction worker on a building site in Bray, Ireland, according to writers who cover the European Tour. And Ian Woosnam never came close to the leaderboard again. They never spoke after the split but we hear Woosnam checks with Byrne’s brothers, Brian and Dermot, both European Tour caddies, about him.
Watch this below video (or click here) that captures the moments in disappointment of Ian Woosnam.
If you are reading this blog it is probably because you think golf is a “good” sport. But what makes a sport “good”? Is it how fun it is to play? How interesting it is to watch? Golf has long been criticized as “bad” sport for reinforcing social hierarchies and utilizing environmentally irresponsible practices.
By: Jonathan Baker
Most courses ranked atop America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses have a special component to them. Something intangible that you don’t necessarily expect until you play there. Maybe it’s the history, the grounds, the exclusivity, the views, the course conditions. Whatever it is, it creates an aura around the entire experience that makes you float mindlessly, yet remember everything.
I’ve been lucky enough to have this happen a few times. It’s come along the Pacific cliffs at Cypress Point, amid the azaleas at Augusta, and most recently among the white faces and wicker baskets at a course that embodies the true essence of golf’s golden age: Merion Golf Club.
Situated among the well-healed neighborhoods along Philadelphia’s Main Line, the Merion Cricket Club was founded in 1865, a sporting playground for the Philadelphia elite. By 1896, a golf contingent had emerged from the membership and with it, an 18-hole course on the club grounds in Haverford. A decade into the 20th century, Merion turned to Scotsman Hugh Wilson, to design and build a new course on acquired land in nearby Ardmore. By September of 1912, Merion Golf Club’s East Course opened for play, and was instantly hailed among experts, “the finest inland links in the country.” Read the rest of this entry »
Can’t make it to the course today because of bad weather or a long day at work? Well, you can still experience the joy of golf without even putting on your golf shoes by enjoying one of these classic golf movies in the comfort of your own living room.
Caddyshack is a 1980s comedy starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe, and Bill Murray. The film takes place at an exclusive golf club, probably a little more eccentric than your own (depending if your groundskeeper has an unhealthy obsession with a gopher or not). Director Harold Ramis sinks a perfect hole in one with Caddyshack’s side-splitting, wacky humor. The film became a model for other teen comedies of the early 1980s and was followed up by a sequel Caddyshack II.
Tin Cup (1996) is a romantic comedy about a former golf pro (Kevin Costner) who attempts to revive his golf career, in order to qualify for the US Open and steal his rival’s girlfriend. Kevin Costner probably does such a great job depicting a golf-pro because the guy can actually golf! He is ranked number 39 in Golf Digest’s “Hollywood’s Top 100 Golfers.” Read the rest of this entry »
I think I would have the same backyard as Dave Pelz if I won the lottery. His backyard practice facility is just ridiculous. He’s replicated a number of famous greens including the island 17th from TPC Sawgrass. My first thought was that he must have an insane water and lawn care bill each month. But don’t worry, the greens are made of SynLawn synthetic turf and consequently don’t have to be watered or mowed, providing a perfect low-maintenance practice area year round.
Derek @ 72strokes.com
Watch this rare footage of Marilyn Monroe taking her golf lesson at a driving range in Canada during the filming of “The River of No Return in 1953″.
It looks like she might have picked up a bit of Joe’s baseball swing, but she does have excellent follow-through (and, of course, a stunning outfit too).
Masters week is here which means Christmas-morning-like excitement for golfers world-wide.
The Masters Tournament is the best viewing experience in sports, there’s no question. What makes it the venue, experience, and tradition like no other? The legacy of Bob Jones.
There’s a reason Bobby Jones’ polite portrait is displayed in the locker rooms of Peachtree Golf Club, East Lake Golf Course, Merion Golf Club, Augusta National Golf Club, and hundreds of clubs throughout the world. The game of golf is played by the most powerful men in the world: money, power, and achievement is attained by many players of our sport. However, earning our society’s highest accomplishments while maintaing humility, tact, and grace was never performed better than Bob Jones. No CEO, politician, or athlete will ever achieve Mr. Jones’ status in society while maintaining his level of humility. It’s impossible to put in words.
Pictures and his words are all we have now.
Golf ball diving is multi-million dollar business. To speak numbers, an estimated 518 millions of rounds of golf are played in the USA each year and on average, a golfer looses 4.5 balls per round .
Unfortunately, this industry is also very dangerous as they are physically demanding, as well filled with perils in the form of snakes, alligators and even sharp metals. We also hear stories of divers drowned by either human error or faulty equipment. According to news reports, at least four golf-ball divers have drowned in this country in the last four years alone while searching what they call as the “White Gold”. Watch this fascinating video (click here) to know about the world of golf ball diving.
They play a different kind of golf in Utah: Rifle Golf. Founded in 2005, Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf is the only shooting range of its kind in the world. The course consists of 9 “holes” over a 7 mile course set on 10,000 acres. You’ll have the opportunity to take shots from 175 to 1200 yards on 30 different targets.
For only $50 (plus $35 to rent an ATV) you can test your shooting game at Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf. And don’t piss off the cart girl… she’s probably packin’.
Derek @ 72Strokes.com