No caddies? Now an option for LPGA players amid coronavirus health concerns

Caddies will certainly be optional when the LPGA makes its scheduled reboot in late July.

GolfChannel.com has actually found out that as component of the excursion’s brand-new safety and security procedures for returning amid the coronavirus pandemic, players will certainly be enabled to bring their very own bags for the remainder of the 2020 period, if they so select.

The excursion educated its participants this is a short-term option made to secure players that do not have normal excursion caddies, that might really feel an enhanced threat collaborating with unknown regional caddies.

Still, the information really did not land well amongst LPGA caddies anxious to return when the excursion makes its scheduled reboot this summer season.

Les Luark, that caddies for Lydia Ko as well as previously collaborated with Ariya Jutanguarn, claimed he entirely sustains safety and security factors to consider called for amid the pandemic, however he is worried that some players will certainly abuse the intent of the caddieoption He claimed he isn’t alone amongst his associates.

“A vast majority of players appreciate what we do for a living, and this won’t impact caddies who work for those players,” Luark claimed. “But I assume there’s a great part of players that will certainly make use of the financial benefits they can obtain from this.

“Whether it’s younger players coming out of college, or Symetra Tour players who aren’t in a financially stable situation, or just players who don’t appreciate caddies, I’m concerned there will be some who think, ‘I can save $1,300 or $1,400 a week for four months by going without a caddie.’ That bothers me.”

LPGA excursion media supervisor Christina Lance validated players were educated of the caddie option Wednesday throughout a players’ conference in a video clip teleconference.

“We expect an overwhelming number of players to use their full-time caddies,” Lance claimed. “This is meant mainly to avoid the local caddie situation, where we don’t know a caddie’s background, and the player doen’t know their background, and may feel health concerns working with someone they don’t know.”

The LPGA will certainly combine its 2020 as well as 21′ periods for the functions of qualification as well as concern positions, however both periods will certainly remain different in its historic as well as main document.

John Killeen, a veteran caddie that has actually tote for Patty Sheehan, Meg Mallon, Ayako Okamoto as well as Cristie Kerr, claimed he was so worried when he listened to the information that he texted LPGA commissioner Mike Whan concerning it.

“I asked him if this was the end of caddies as we know them,” Killeen claimed. “I was wondering if this was the way we are finally going to be squeezed out. He said, ‘No way.’”

Lance likewise claimed that.

“We are 100 percent staying with our caddies,” she claimed. “This is not the beginning of a long-term plan to phase out caddies. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

That really did not make this information land any type of softer for LPGA caddies, most of whom do not take pleasure in the a lot more financially rewarding cost savings that PGA Tour caddies take pleasure in.

“There are caddies out there planning to come back this summer who are going to get a phone call and hear a player say, ‘Sorry, I don’t need you now,’” Killeen claimed. “That’s mosting likely to be sincere.

“I hope this ‘optional’ thing doesn’t get out of hand.”

Like Luark, Killeen thinks it might end up being a cost-cutting option greater than a safety and security option for specific players.

“I could make a list right now of players who will take advantage of this,” he claimed. “I’m talking about veteran players, too.”

Killeen is worried for fellow caddies that are battling throughout golf’s closed down, veteran caddies that have actually functioned the edge for years however like the excursion. He was enthusiastic the LPGA as well as its players would certainly sustain some sort of charity event to aid caddies throughout this down time. Instead, they obtained a digestive tract punch Wednesday, finding out less tasks might be readily available when the excursion returns.

“There will be some caddies left out,” Killeen claimed.

Brittany Lincicome’s caddie Missy Pederson, that is recuperating from COVID-19, intends to return to function however she likewise intends to do so securely.

Killeen, 61, took his initial caddie task assuming he would certainly function it for 8 months.

“Thirty-eight years later, I’m still doing it,” Killeen claimed. “It’s been a brilliant life.”

Killeen isn’t fretted about a work this summer season with a scenic tour bag aligned, however he stresses over the caddie life as a whole as well as just how this might affect it, must the pandemic remain right into following year. He got on a team message Wednesday with 10 caddies that share not just those anxieties, however issue over just how bitterness might expand for players that select to play without caddies. He claimed he comprehends the economic worries on new as well as journeyman pros, however caddies have actually constantly been informed they are an integral part of the excursion family members.

“If Player A or B had a caddie and isn’t using him, it will be talked about among us,” Killeen claimed. “It’s terrible to say, but it will be frowned upon.”

Should caddies rake the shelters for players that do not have caddies?

Should they supply their towels to tidy rounds?

And just how expendable will caddies really feel seeing players with bags strapped on their backs, or pressing pull carts? How will that influence the excursion’s photo?

These are obstacles caddies that do go back to function will certainly encounter.

Killeen wishes his anxieties aren’t validated must a great deal of players select to carry their very own bags.

Pernilla Lindberg, the 2018 ANA Inspiration champion, has a special understanding right into the player/caddie dynamic. She is wed to her caddie, Daniel Taylor.

“I’m close friends with a lot of caddies,” Lindberg claimed. “The players I understand, we have actually all been actually worried concerning the caddies throughout this bumpy ride. We intend to provide an opportunity ahead back to function. We wish ladies that have normal excursion caddies will certainly return to doing their regular point, as well as they will certainly have them around.

“We’re a professional tour. Our caddies make us better. We want them to be a part of what we’re doing. Hopefully, that’s what other girls will be looking at.”



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