Ontario - Robert Allenby's bizarre season took another strange turn when his
caddie walked off the course midway through the first round of the RBC Canadian
Open on Thursday.
It is second time in eight years that Allenby's caddie has quit during the
round, leaving the player to find a spectator to carry his bag for the
The trouble started at Allenby's fourth hole, the par-five 13th at Glen
Abbey, when the 44-year-old Australian and bagman Mick Middlemo disagreed over
club selection for the approach shot.
His subsequent shot found the creek in front of the green, which led to a
heated confrontation and a triple bogey.
"My nerves have been rattled. I'm in shock," Allenby told
SCOREGolf after shooting 81 and withdrawing from the tournament. "This is
the worst incident I've ever witnessed as a player.
"I said to him (Middlemo), 'You know this happens every week. We keep
making bad mistakes and you're not helping me in these circumstances'.
"He just lost the plot at me. He got right in my face as if he wanted
to just beat me up. I said, 'Stop being a such-and-such and calm down and get
back into the game'. And he just got even closer and closer and I just said,
'That's it, you're sacked'."
Middlemo's offered a different version of events, and a well placed source
tells Reuters the final straw came when Allenby swore at the caddie.
"Robert's a pretty highly strung individual and he hasn't been playing
great of late," Middlemo told Australian radio station SEN.
"We had a discussion about a club, then of course I copped the wrath of
"Then unfortunately the personal insults started. I've been called a
bad caddie ... but when the personal insults come in and you're being called a
fat so-and-so ... I got a little bit peeved by it and then the third time he
said it I walked up to him and basically said 'I dare you to say that to me
"He didn't say it again. There was never going to be any violence ... I
was just going to put the bag down, get my gear and leave."
Allenby is no stranger to such situations. At the 2007 BMW Open near
Chicago, then-caddie Matthew "Bussy" Tritton dumped the bag near the
seventh tee, removed his bib and walked off.
"It's not the first time and it won't be the last time," quipped
Allenby at the time.
Two decades ago, another caddie quit on Allenby in the middle of the 1995
British Open at St Andrews.
Allenby made headlines in January when he claimed he was mugged and robbed
after he missed the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Police later arrested a man who plead guilty to using the golfer's credit