Date: September 19, 2017
Author: Martin Blake

It’s about timing, says Day’s former caddie


Displaced caddie Colin Swatton has spoken out publicly for the first time since Jason Day switched bagmen at the BMW Championship.

Swatton told Golfworld's Tim Rosaforte in Chicago that he had continued to exchange texts with Day during the tournament, in which the Australian finished fourth, and that he was very happy to see him playing well.

Day had good friend Luke Reardon on the bag at the BMW, breaking the decade-long caddie-player relationship with his friend Swatton, but retaining him as his instructor. Like Day, Reardon was a student of Swatton's back in Queensland more than a decade ago.

“It’s totally one of those timing issues,” Swatton told Golfworld. “We always made a pact, that when I started the whole caddie thing, if it ever felt wrong for either person, either Jason or me, we’d be honest and up front and talk about it. Obviously, 'Jase' came to me and said, 'This is how I’m feeling.'

"While you never want to hear that, it’s disappointing and confusing in a certain degree, you obviously know that day is going to come at some point. As his coach and friend my role is to support him and do what’s best for his golf. If he feels like a change might ignite a spark, I want to do that, and support him as coach and as his friend, and do what may not necessarily be the right thing, but I want to try and do what he feels is the right thing. That’s what he feels is the right thing, so the decision was made.”

Day, who spoke about the issue prior to the tournament, said he wanted to save his friendship with Swatton by making the change. “I never wanted it to turn into a toxic relationship,” Day said. “I was worried if I kept it going, it was going to head that way, and I love him too much to have him not in my life.”

Swatton said the fact he ever caddied for Day harked back to the player's move to the United States as a teenager, and the fact he was not allowed to drive a car. “I said to his mother I would go help his transition onto the tour, try to get him through the [ Tour], try get him on PGA Tour.''

Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are among the other high-profile players to have changed caddies this year.

Day is playing in the Tour Championship in Atlanta this week before the Presidents Cup in New Jersey, and is coming home to play the Emirates Australian Open at The Australian in November.