Robert Allenby has had yet another row with a caddie, leaving him carrying his own bag in the Canadian Open.
Allenby argued heatedly with bagman Mick Middlemo after he hit an eight iron shot into the water in front of the par-five 13th hole – his fourth of the day – in the first round in Toronto.
By the time they reached the halfway point of the round, Middlemo had walked off. Allenby carried his bag for a few holes, then a local school principal helped him out for the rest of the round, in which he carded a disastrous 81.
“Robert’s a pretty highly strung individual and he hasn’t been playing great of late,” Middlemo told SEN radio. “We had a discussion about a club, then of course I copped the wrath of that.
“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 again’.
“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. I basically said on the 13th hole ‘you don’t have to worry about it because I won’t be here tomorrow’ and he said ‘you’re right, because I definitely won’t have you back’.”
Allenby told reporters in Toronto that Middlemo, who has been carrying his bag through this season, had threatened him.
“He just lost the plot at me,” the Melburnian said. “He just told me I could go eff myself. 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’. This is the worst incident I’ve ever witnessed as a player.
“I’ve never been threatened and as he walked away he said, ‘I’ll be waiting for you in the car park’. He’s an Australian and he didn’t act like an Australian, let’s put it that way.”
Allenby, who was bashed and robbed during a tournament in Hawaii earlier this year, is expected to withdraw from the tournament. “Everything that’s gone on this year, that was the last thing I needed,” Allenby said.
“I’ve been obviously beaten up, robbed and stolen from, what have you in Hawaii and all that. I haven’t dealt with it well all year, it’s been tough, and then I got something like this.”
The Victorian has a history of poor relations and arguments with caddies.