Excuses and finger-pointing: Welcome to Wie's world
Posted: Tuesday August 15, 2006 1:43PM; Updated: Tuesday August 15, 2006 1:43PM
Greg Johnston got the heave-ho -- but it wasn't Michelle Wie who delivered the bad news.
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Greg Johnston, who was Michelle Wie's caddie of less than a year before being fired Monday, a day after she finished tied for 26th at the British Women's Open, was reportedly "shocked and surprised" when he got the bad news from Wie's agent, Ross Berlin, of the William Morris Agency.
I wasn't. And Johnston shouldn't have been. Nor should he have been surprised about not getting the courtesy of a phone call from Wie or her family telling him he was unemployed. It's a pattern we've seen before.
Ask Juli Inkster. Johnston had caddied for Inkster since 1994 -- a run that included four of her seven major championships -- before he was offered the job carrying Wie's bag when she turned professional last October. It was just before the Solheim Cup, the women's version of the Ryder Cup, an event that Inkster cares very much about.
Given an ultimatum, Johnston chose the young phenom over the then-45-year-old Inkster, who hadn't won in two years. The timing of his defection, and the way it was handled, still makes the Hall of Famer fume.
"It would have been nice to get a phone call from the [Wie] family, saying this is what we're thinking of doing," Inkster told me after she took the first-round lead at the Women's British Open last week with a 66. "I'd had Greg for 11 years. It's not like I was some rookie.
"But that's not the way they [the Wies] do things. Instead they gave him a take-it-or-leave-it in the middle of my season, right before the Solheim Cup. I don't blame him. He's got kids to think about. But that didn't sit well."