Playing as a threesome in the last group, Pooley, Lancaster and Wiebe fell too far behind the group ahead and received a warning for slow play. Fearing a two-stroke penalty, Pooley tried to pick up the pace by leaving the 9th green before Wiebe, a notoriously deliberate player, had putted out. Wiebe confronted Pooley on the 10th tee. "I made my putt," he said sarcastically, implying that Pooley had left before he should have. "I know you made your putt," Pooley snapped back. "I'm keeping your scorecard."
At the time, Pooley was six under, in contention and coming off a birdie at the 9th. But he double-bogeyed the 12th and bogeyed 13, 14, 15 and 18 to shoot 42 on the back and fall to 17th. Lancaster, the third-round leader, shot 41 coming home to finish 16th. Wiebe wound up tied for second at five under, one shot behind winner Craig Stadler.
"The guy was way out of line," Pooley said. "He made a comment that changed the momentum of my play. I don't want it to sound like sour grapes, but it shouldn't have happened."
Lancaster agreed. "You don't want to make excuses, but I couldn't believe Mark said that to Don. It definitely affected Don's game. A lot of it was because Mark wasn't playing well at the time. It hit Don wrong, and it should have. Mark should have never said it."
Bettor Days Ahead
Dan Stojak returned from caddie purgatory last week and was back on the bag of Loren Roberts. Roberts fired Stojak last October after Stojak was accused of placing a $1,000 bet, at 4-to-1 odds, on Europe in the Ryder Cup. Though Stojak initially acknowledged making the wager, he now insists he never placed a bet.
"Why would I bet $1,000 to make $4,000 and lose a $140,000-a-year job?" Stojak says, referring to his percentage of Roberts's winnings. "That just doesn't make any sense. If I were putting up $50,000 and it was paying $250,000, then maybe we could say that I was giving bad advice. But I would never think of doing that. This is my career. I need this to support my family."
In the Ryder Cup, Stojak helped club Roberts to a 3-1 record and was out in the rain shuttling dry towels to team members on Friday morning when his player and some of the other caddies were dry in the clubhouse.
Most of the other caddies never questioned Stojak's loyalties. "Two things tell me he wanted us to win in the worst way," says Jim Mackay, who caddies for Phil Mickelson. "First is the way he reacted when Loren chipped in on the 9th hole Friday afternoon. And second is the way he reacted when Corey Pavin chipped in on Saturday. Both times he went nuts. You don't fake that."
For his part Roberts, who was nicknamed Boss of the Moss by Stojak, is ready to forgive and forget. "The thing really took on a life of its own last year," he says. "We talked about it in the off-season and had planned for him to come back in Florida. He's back and everything's fine. Obviously he and I have done well together. It was an unfortunate situation, and I still don't know exactly what happened, but it's history. He tried as hard as everybody did at the Ryder Cup. All's forgiven, and we'll move on."