When Colin Byrne ran away to join the Caddy Circus, he had no illusions about the place he coveted in the world of tournament golf. I explained his low position, like being among the plankton of a professional game.
Oh, he’s never had anything better in the twilight of a very productive career. “I don’t expect anything yet, but I have received so much,” he said from his latest assignment.
“They paid for my flight from Dublin. They picked me up at the airport and put me in a very nice hotel. We see it as an important part of
His benefactor is the Rebel LIV Tour, which is currently hosting its final event of the season at the Trump National Doral Resort in Miami. And Byrne is there, caddying for his employer Louis Oosthuizen since last year.
It’s full of irony that all of this is happening at a time when the toughest proponent of the status quo, Rory McIlroy, has just regained his number one spot in the world rankings. Still, Byrne feels perfectly comfortable being part of a recognized opposition.
“As a caddy, I’m used to being treated with disrespect over the years,” said the elderly belvederian, who holds a degree in business studies.
“Things may have changed in the last few years, but that’s certainly been the way caddies have been for decades. Expect nothing, get nothing.”
But even in an unequal world, Byrne was unafraid to stand his ground. Like the situation at Bay Hill about a decade ago, on his 15th green in the second round, he grounded his bag and left the course, requiring Ernie to defend his Els to himself.
“We all draw a line, and Ernie just happened to cross that line,” Byrne said. “But we’ve been friends again since then.”
It was not difficult to understand this often bleak view of his work. He recalled a situation he experienced at the 1998 Olympics US Open at his club in San Francisco. After driving Padraig Harrington’s club to Forbidden 18th, veteran caddy John O’Reilly asked me if I’d have a chance to get him a cup of tea from the clubhouse.
Noticing my surprise, he muttered, “I’m not allowed in there.” And so was the blue ribbon in the American game.
Given this background, it was not difficult to understand Byrne’s positivity about the LIV, including claims that “they can’t do enough to accommodate caddies.” But he certainly wasn’t blind to the nature of the Saudi regime that makes all this money possible.
“I don’t fully understand all of this sportswashing,” he said. I haven’t heard a lot of complaints being voiced, like threats to boycott Dublin airport, we’re all complicit, this global horse was bolted on years ago I was.
,war “We are all complicit in trade and business with countries of questionable morals. , it’s just that the golf situation split very quickly.
“I was shocked at how dogmatic and humiliating PGA Tour players were about their colleagues who made the decision to change careers. is.
“It is their right to choose. their trip. Some pious people need to put their cards on the table. Like money in appearance, LIV money isn’t, but it seems good to them.
“In my view, they have no decision-making power. I think it’s a problem for individuals to be professional and earn anywhere. And they can analyze moral arguments until the cows go home.” How many of us can say that all the money we make comes from squeaky clean sources? It is due to the nature of globalism that many companies are doing business with Saudi Arabia Why don’t you play golf?”
He further argued that non-scripted professional golfers became the soft targets for all of this, but most of them were essentially athletes with no political views. The fact remains that many lower-tier players on the PGA Tour have benefited greatly from the arrival of the LIV,” Dubliner said. “Suddenly, the PGA Tour miraculously found wads of cash under someone’s mattress to beef up many of these players.”
Meanwhile, he describes the camaraderie on the LIV Tour as “great.” Then, in a classic Byrne edge, he suggested: And you can see how it helps friendships endlessly.
He continued: “Kenny Convoy [Graeme McDowell’s caddie] is an old friend of mine and was chatting with Ricky Elliot only yesterday [Brooks Koepka’s bagman from Portrush]Within the caddy circle, we are all pretty much the same. Staying in one hotel allows us to spend more time in each other’s company than in the usual scattered situation. ”
As Raymond Floyd once claimed, a caddy is like your wife. they are always right. By October 2004, Byrne had published her first book with her longtime member, Royal Dublin GC, and was definitely beyond her humble mediocrity.
It was a particularly successful season for him as his employer Retief Goosen won four tournaments: his second US Open, his second US Tour Championship, the Smurfit European Open and the Nedbank Challenge. .
During the week of the 1998 World Cup in Auckland, I approached Byrne to write a column about his caddying experience. Irish Times, I was a golf correspondent. What I can’t forget about our discussion is that he never mentioned money.
Interestingly, at the time he was caddying for Greg Turner, who also wrote for publications in his native New Zealand.For Byrne, it was his 18-year-old bag mana compilation of his columns, which coincidentally donate the profits to charity.
When I spoke at the Augusta National at the 2019 Masters, he was nearing his mid-50s, working for Rafa Cabrera Bello and looking to retire. Then two things happened. He was given the chance to share Oosthuizen’s bag with his fellow caddy, Weinand Stander. Oosthuizen then joined his LIV.
“I didn’t talk to Lewis about the move,” Byrne said. “My relationship with him is not more than a 6 iron or his 7 iron.
“Actually, lugging around a golf bag for a living is physically catching up with you,” he continued. I can see it extend my career.”
To mark the end of LIV’s first season, an elaborate party is planned in Miami tonight, to which Byrne and his fellow caddies are invited.
A bag-bearer for 35 years, he claims this kind of inclusivity changed his life.
“Golf needs to change and having been through both, I believe this is the way to do it,” he argued. “I can’t say I’d bet my life on it,” he replied. “But I’m starting to think it could be a very interesting future.”