Rory McIlroy is not the only big-name player switching caddies this week, with Australia’s Adam Scott “resting’’ Steve Williams for both the World Golf Championship tournament at Firestone and the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
Scott has put David Clarke on his bag for the next two tournaments, as well as confirming that he will miss the opening two tournaments of the PGA Tour playoffs, raising the notion that he might soon be done for the year in America.
Scott told reporters that his wife, Marie, was due to give birth to their second child on August 19, and that he intended to be with her.
This means that he would miss the Northern Trust (Aug. 24-27) and Dell Technologies Championship (Sept. 1-4), and if he is to play the third playoff event, the BMW Championship, he needs to still be ranked in the top 70 on the Fedex Cup points table. He is currently ranked 70th.
“It’s a little unknown,” Scott said. “Hopefully everything stays on track and due dates stay the same and I’ll be at the PGA for sure next week, and after that I don’t know. My FedEx Cup ranking at the moment isn’t really high enough to see me getting in the BMW with not playing the first two. … I certainly won’t be at the first two FedEx Cup events, and if I’m not (qualified for the next event) then I’ll be having quite an extended break and I don’t know then when I’ll play next.”
Scott has dipped to No. 17 in the world with a recent lull. “I wish it was better than how it was, obviously,” Scott said . “I just seemed to play OK every week and not threaten anything much. It’s little bits of everything, you know, I think something’s gotta click; you’ve gotta find that spark somewhere, and hopefully it’s here this week.”
As for the caddie duties, Clarke has been a semi-regular bagman for Scott for some years. But Williams has been on his bag for every major since 2015. It is not clear why the change has been made, but it is bound to fuel speculation that a more permanent change is on the cards for the Aussie.
McIlroy, meanwhile, has his good friend Harry Diamond on his bag for the next fortnight.
The Northern Irishman said today his split from JP Fitzgerald was about preserving their friendship.
“I was getting very hard on him on the golf course and I didn’t want to treat someone like that,’’ said McIlroy. “I thanked JP for everything. JP knows how much I think of him, how much he means to me, what we’ve achieved together, and it wasn’t an easy decision.
“But I felt like it was a change that I needed to make because I got to the point where, if I didn’t play a good shot or if I made a wrong decision, I was getting more frustrated at him than I was at myself. I would much rather be angry at myself for making a wrong decision than being angry at him.”
McIlroy, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth are in the same group for round one of the Bridgestone Invitational starting at Firestone tonight (Australian time).
Day is one of six Australians in the limited field for the $US9.75 million tournament.