OAKVILLE, Ontario — Robert Allenby’s day couldn’t have gone much worse Thursday at the RBC Canadian Open.
The 44-year-old fired his caddie, Mick Meddlemo, after a disagreement over club selection. Allenby, who has only made seven cuts this season, later withdrew after a 9-over 81.
The Australian told SCOREGolf.com that disagreements with his caddie had become a common occurrence.
“I said to him, ‘You know this happens every week. This has happened for like, the last three or four or five months. We keep making bad mistakes and you’re not helping me in these circumstances.’ ”
On the advice of Meddlemo, Allenby hit an 8-iron – instead of the 7-iron Allenby thought was the right club – into the green at the par-5 13th. The 8-iron caught a gust of wind and ended up in a creek. Allenby proceeded to make a triple-bogey on the hole.
“He just lost the plot at me,” Allenby continued. “He 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.’ I said, ‘I will never have you caddie again.’”
Allenby carried his own bag and caddie bib to the first hole, his 10th of the day.
It was then that Tom Fraser, 61, decided to say something.
The school principal from Kingston, Ontario, called out to Allenby and said he would be more than happy to help out for the final nine holes.
“To my surprise he said, ‘come on,’ said Fraser with a smile.
At first, Fraser thought Allenby’s caddie was merely in the bathroom, but he overheard Allenby say to an official that he didn’t have a caddie anymore. It went from there.
Fraser came to Glen Abbey with three other friends from his hometown. They met a fifth person on site today and will be back at the course tomorrow. Fraser said his time inside the ropes was an “experience of a lifetime.”
“I waved at my friends, gave them the thumb’s up. Sharing the stories with them afterwards was great,” he said. “Usually I carry my own bag, but this one was a little heavier than usual.”
Allenby birdied his first hole with Fraser on the bag, but struggled to a 3-over 38 and then confirmed to TOUR officials that he would be withdrawing.
“My nerves have been rattled. I’m in shock,” Allenby told SCOREGolf. “This is the worst incident I’ve ever witnessed as a player.”