Veteran PGA Tour golfer Robert Allenby is once again making headlines for something other than his golf scores after firing his caddie in the middle of the first round at the RBC Canadian Open, as first reported by ScoreGolf.com.
Allenby said after the round that he fired his caddie Mick Middlemo after he had completed nine holes following a verbal confrontation on the course. A fan standing nearby heard Allenby talking to a course official and volunteered to carry Allenby’s bag and the golfer agreed.
According to Allenby, the confrontation came after he and his caddie disagreed on a club choice on the approach to the par-5 13th hole, his fourth hole of the day. Due an earlier penalty, Allenby was already hitting his fourth shot on the hole and the approach, using the club suggested by the caddie, ended up in a creek.
“I said to him, ‘You know this happens every week. This has happened for like the last three or four or five months,” Allenby said after the round via Score Golf. “We keep making bad mistakes and you’re not helping me in these circumstances.’ And he just lost the plot at me. He just told me I could go eff myself. And I said, ‘Look, you need to slow down. I mean just calm down.’ And then he just 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.” I said, ‘I will never have you caddie ever again.’ And we never spoke for the rest of the (first nine) and when we got to 18 we walked off and he said some smartass remark to me and I said, ‘You don’t deserve to be caddying out there.’ And he just got right in my face and threatened me so I said, ‘Go.’ So he left.”
In an interview with ESPN, Middlemo did not deny the confrontation but claims he was reacting to Allenby calling him a “fat (expletive).”
“[Allenby] said. ‘I can’t believe this fat (expletive)’ loud enough for everyone to hear,” Middlemo told ESPN. “There’s a lot as a caddie I can take but [not] a personal attack like that. I can take it if you call me the worst caddie in the world, tell me I’m horrible at picking clubs, but there’s a line you just can’t cross.”
According to Score Golf, fans who witnessed the confrontation say Allenby was equally aggressive.
The fan, Tom Fraser, told Global News that didn’t do much to try and assist Allenby and got a lot of help from the other caddies in the group on where to stand and lay the bag. Allenby even raked his own bunker in one instance.
Allenby went on to shoot 81 in the opening round but withdrew afterwards.
Allenby made headlines earlier this year when he claimed to have been kidnapped following a round at a tournament in Hawai’i. Witnesses later came forward to dispute that report.
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