Jessica Korda Fires Caddie in Middle of Round at 2013 US Women's Open
Move over, Donald Trump. There’s someone even better at delivering employment-ending news at a moment’s notice with the whole world watching.
American Jessica Korda stunningly fired caddie Jason Gilroyed on the ninth hole Saturday, creating a reality television-like sideshow in the third round of the 2013 Women's U.S. Open, which otherwise would have been headlined by World No. 1 Inbee Park.
The talented South Korean shot a 71, the only under-par round Saturday at the U.S. Open. Yet while Inbee Park rested four shots clear of I.K. Park heading into Sunday at Sebonack Park Golf Course in Long Island, N.Y., all the talk was about Korda's bold move.
Spiraling out of contention at five over on the front nine, Korda, the daughter of 1998 Australian Open (tennis) winner Petr Korda, decided things weren't quite working out with Gilroyed, with whom she was seen having issues on the front nine.
The 20-year-old told ESPN she had a couple of disagreements and wasn't in the right state of mind. Rather than wait until the end of the round, Korda fired him on the spot and temporarily drafted her boyfriend, Johnny DelPrete, from the gallery a moment later.
Following the difficult decision, it appeared Korda's state of mind improved significantly. With Gilroyed gone and DelPrete put to work, Korda settled down, playing the back nine at the challenging Sebonack layout at one under.
The reversal left Korda at one over for the tournament and in a tie for sixth, 11 shots back of Park.
While DelPrete couldn't have expected to end his day between the ropes at Sebonack on Saturday, it’s certainly not unfamiliar territory for the professional golfer who competed on the Web.com Tour last year.
To be sure, the rather drastic firing midway through a major championship round of golf is certainly uncharted territory.
Back in the final round of the 2001 Open Championship at Royal Lytham, Ian Woosnam was assessed a two-shot penalty for having too many clubs in his bag. He didn't axe guilty caddie Miles Byrne—at least not immediately and on the spot—for leaving a second driver in the bag by mistake.
A week ago, Bubba Watson questioned his caddie publicly after hitting the ball in the water and drowning his chances to win the Travelers Championship. The performance was in bad form, but he certainly didn't toss Ted Scott into that same lake on the spot.
Really good caddies, just like really good professionals, make mistakes now and again. The great caddies make a habit of disagreeing with their employers—especially when the stakes are highest. It’s the reality of their jobs and the nature of their sometimes-tenuous employment.
Just like reality television, professional sports are a place where raw emotion can take over during intense moments. It just so happens caddie and golfer intertwined on Saturday at the U.S. Open for all to see.
Think Trump was watching?
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