Woosnam fires caddie
Miles Byrne is looking for work after breaking the most basic caddie rule of all.
Two weeks after costing Ian Woosnam a two-stroke penalty in the British Open when he failed to count the Welsh player's clubs, Byrne was fired Sunday after oversleeping and missing Woosnam's tee time in the Scandinavian Masters.
"You know what the circumstances are going to be this time," Woosnam said. "I gave him a chance. He had one warning. That was it."
Two weeks ago at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Woosnam lost two strokes when he teed off with 15 clubs in his bag, one over the limit. Byrne, whose duties include making sure the equipment fits the rules, failed to count the clubs, which included an extra driver Woosnam had been trying on the practice range.
Woosnam nearly aced the opening hole, but discovered an extra club in his bag that turned a tap-in into a devastating bogey. He finished in a third-place tie, one stroke behind runner-up Niclas Fasth of Sweden and four behind winner David Duval.
Woosnam teed off on schedule at 7:15 a.m. for Sunday's final round, with local caddiemaster Tommy Strand skipping breakfast and carrying his bag.
Club officials also helped Woosnam break into his locker for his golf shoes, because Byrne had the key.
Woosnam shot a 3-under 69, his best score in the tournament at Barseback Golf and Country Club. He tied for 59th at 2-under 286, then left Strand with thanks and a hefty tip.
"I ran to the first tee," Strand said. "It was very hectic. Ian smiled when I counted the clubs. He was very nice. He gave me 1,000 kronor ($100 US, compared with the normal caddie fee of $30) after the round. He asked for my address afterward."
Byrne did show up, but it was too late. Strand said he saw Byrne sitting in the clubhouse but did not speak with him.
At the British Open, Woosnam hit his tee shot at the par-3 opening hole within inches and tapped in to tie for the lead with Fasth. But on the second tee, he was informed by Byrne that he was "going to go ballistic" because of the 15th club.
"I want to forget it and just remember I finished third in the Open," was Woosnam's only comment before his Scandinavian Masters start.
Woosnam, 43, won the Masters in 1991 and twice topped the European tour's Order of Merit.