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The Legend of Bagger Byrne
Michael Bamberger
July 30, 2001
Blame the caddie for the oversight that cost Woosie two precious shots
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July 30, 2001

The Legend Of Bagger Byrne

Blame the caddie for the oversight that cost Woosie two precious shots

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He played on, but in a daze. He bogeyed the 3rd hole and the 4th. It was an uphill climb from there. Although he got within two strokes of the lead with a birdie at the 13th, Woosnam trailed by three or four shots for most of the back nine and finished in a tie for third place, four shots behind.

You may say it is the golfer's responsibility to know how many clubs he has. It is not, not with tour caddies earning $1,000 a week plus 5% of their players' hefty pay. Caddying is a profession. "That's what you pay a caddie for," Woosnam said, and he is correct. The golfer has other things to think about.

For 14 years Woosnam had the same caddie, Phill (Wobbly) Morbey, who counted his man's clubs on the 1st tee before every round. In March the two parted ways, amicably. Wobbly went to work for Jos� Mar�a Olaz�bal, and Byrne, an experienced tour caddie, went to work for Woosnam.

"He's a good caddie; I'm not going to sack him," Woosie said on Sunday evening. That's what Jean Van de Velde said about his looper, Christophe Angiolini, following their triple-bogey debacle on the 72nd hole in the British Open at Carnoustie two years ago. By the PGA Championship four weeks later, Angiolini was gone.

Byrne took all the blame at Royal Lytham. "The buck stops with me," he said. That's the correct thing to say, but it won't be enough. Woosman will probably be on the European Ryder Cup team come September. The odds on poor Byrne making it are long. A man had a chance to win his national championship, and now that chance is gone.

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