Robert Allenby’s has added another chapter to a tumultuous season by firing his caddie mid-round after a blazing row at the US PGA Tour’s Canadian Open.
It began when Allenby blamed his caddie, fellow Australian Mick Middlemo, for a wrong club choice when he hit his ball into a creek at Glen Abbey’s par-5 13th, his fourth hole and made triple bogey.
“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’,” said Allenby, who carded a nine-over 81 first round before withdrawing.
“He just lost the plot at me. He just told me I could go eff myself. And I said, ‘Look, you need to slow down. I mean just calm down.’ And then he just 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 will never have you caddie ever again.'”
Allenby said the pair didn’t speak for the next five holes before Middlemo dumped his bag at the turn.
“He said some smartass remark to me and I said, ‘You don’t deserve to be caddying out there.’ And he just got right in my face and threatened me so I said, ‘Go.’ So he left,” Allenby said.
“My nerves have been rattled. I’m in shock.”
The blow-up comes in the middle of a difficult 2015 for Allenby, who has only made seven cuts this season and in January was beaten and robbed after missing the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
“Everything that’s gone on this year, that was the last thing I needed,” said Allenby.
“I’ve been obviously beaten up, robbed and stolen from, what have you in Hawaii and all that. I haven’t dealt with it well all year, it’s been tough, and then I got something like this.
“He’s meant to be one of my mates… this is the worst incident I’ve ever witnessed as a player.
“I’ve never been threatened and as he walked away he said, ‘I’ll be waiting for you in the car park.’
Middlemo told a somewhat different story.
“Robert’s a pretty highly-strung individual and he hasn’t been playing great of late,” Middlemo told SEN radio.
“We had a discussion about a club, then of course I copped the wrath of that. Then unfortunately the personal insults started. I’ve been called a bad caddie … but when the personal insults come in and you’re being called a fat so-and-so … I got a little bit peeved by it.
“Then the third time he said it I walked up to him and basically said `I dare you to say that to me again’.
“He didn’t say it again. There was never going to be any violence … I was just going to put the bag down, get my gear and leave.
“I basically said on the 13th hole `you don’t have to worry about it because I won’t be here tomorrow’ and he said `you’re right, because I definitely won’t have you back’.”