Wie Fires Caddy

After a weak performance in the British Open, Team Wie fired caddy Greg Johnson on Monday. Wie’s agent did the dirty work as Johnson arrived at the airport gates.

“I was shocked and surprised, I thought we had a successful year,” Johnston told GolfDigest.com. “And I was extremely disappointed that no one named Wie gave me the news.”

Team Wie didn’t say what the cause for separation was—only some bland statement about her needing to learn from a variety of different golf minds yadda yadda.

Johnson was no tyro. He had carried the bag for Julie Inkster on four of her major wins. But Team Wie had made some mistakes: her heat exhaustion, her disqualification at the Samsung, and the bunker penalty at the Open Championship. None of these are his fault, but Team Wie has to blame someone.

I don’t think that this bodes well for Wie. As a high school teacher, I know the teenage mind … and I strongly believe that Team Wie is going about it entirely the wrong way.  That girl is going to be a head case by the time she’s 21. Think Mcauley Culkin, or any of those other child stars. They never lived in the real world, never had a chance to relate to people their own age and now look at them.

Tiger’s Dad, on the other hand, seemed to know what he was doing. Tiger competed (and won big) in the juniors and was sent to college before turning pro. And he turned out to be as normal as you’re going to get given his training and line of work.

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4 thoughts on “Wie Fires Caddy”

  1. I pretty much agree with you on most of these points except: 
    – Wie’s caddy should have been more aware of her status and oncoming heat exhaustion.  He is the person closest to her on the course and should be in synch with her and realized that she wasn’t hydrating enough and that her condition was changing.

    -She is already a headcase.  There is no way a child (and in many ways she seems more childlike from overprotection or overattention than many 16 year olds) can deal with the stress and expectations she is under.

    I sure don’t expect her to fire the caddy herself—that is beyond her maturity level.  But it should have been her dad, or at least he should have been there at the time.  However, I really think that unless there were real problems beyond failing to win, she needs the stability right now- not that kind of change.

    BTW- I am not saying that her caddy is at fault for the heat exhaustion, only that he would have been in the best position to see her condition and if anyone other than her could tell she was suffering, it would have been him – and he could have been monitoring her intake. 

    Also on heat exhaustion- I walked off the course after 9 holes a week ago today, because I was worried about me.  That was the first time that has happened, but on the 9th green, waiting for my playing partners to putt, I had an overwhelming urge to pick up my ball and go sit in the cart, and that I might toss some cookies right there.  It was 100 degrees and 85-90% humidity, and luckily I wasn’t too bad off, after spending 5 minutes drinking some water in the clubhouse I was fine.  I had only had about 5 to 8 oz of water for the first 9 holes, and that wasn’t enough.  I played again Sunday, all 18, in even hotter weather, and was fine all day—but drank at least 3 or 4 oz every hole.  Be careful out there folks.

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  2. I sort of agree that the caddy would be in a good position to know about the heat exhaustion. But by the time she was on the course, it was probably too late to do anything. She should have been hydrating on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday … etc. You avoid heat exhaustion by making sure you are fully hydrated BEFORE going out. Drinking gallons of water on the course after you’re suffering is just likely to make you sick. And given that, I blame her handlers. They didn’t make sure that the kid—and she IS a kid—got hydrated. sixteen year olds just don’t think of those things.

    As a high school golf coach, I made sure that my players were drinking BEFORE going out on hot—and even cooler days. I’m sure they thought I was nuts.

    BTW … good call on quitting your round. I did something nearly as drastic. During those hot days, I didn’t even go out. And that’s big for me.  I’ll play in any kind of weather—I’ve played in thirty degree Michigan Januaries. Normally on a hot day, I just choose to play on a course that I know is well shaded. But those days seemed downright dangerous to me.

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  3. I didn’t realize until reading some of the other articles that this was caddy #10 since 2003.  Also when Team Wie offered him the job (with a time-specific ultimatum) he left Inkster right during preparation for the Solheim.

    He will surely land on his feet—there will be some other young star in the LPGA who probably wanted him to begin with, but didn’t think of prying him off Inkster.  Now that he is available, someone will take him and maybe for a long term thing.  Would be funny if whomever takes him wins a couple tourneys before Wie wins her first.

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  4. “Prying him off Inkster”—That didn’t sound so good.  Sorry if it offends, I didn’t mean it that way.

    Reply

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