Rafa Cabrera Bello and Colin Byrne end caddie-player relationship
Spaniard won 2017 Scottish Open and reached a career-high world ranking of 16th
Rafa Cabrera Bello and his caddie Colin Byrne have worked together for four years. File photograph: Getty Images
All good things come to an end, and Spanish golfer Rafa Cabrera Bello and his Irish caddie Colin Byrne have ended their four-year working relationship.
While Cabrera Bello is in the Mexican sunshine for this week’s Mayakoba Classic on the PGA Tour, Byrne - who has also numbered Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Alex Noren, Tom Lewis, Edoardo Molinari and Darren Clarke among his players - has returned home to Dublin.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while. You know when it’s not happening and the nature is to hang on a bit,” said Byrne, who had a heart-to-heart with Cabrera Bella last week.
In actual fact, their last tournament was the Masters, where the Spaniard finished tied-51st, as Byrne was unable to carry out his bagman duties at the following week’s RSM Classic as he was deemed a close contact of a Covid-19 case.
As Byrne explained: “It is also a symptom of Covid, everyone gets the time to reflect, don’t they? I think it has happened to a lot of people who get time to consider what they are doing in their lives and maybe make a decision they wouldn’t have made if they were still on the treadmill of what they normally do.
“We had four great years,” said Byrne, the highlight being a win in the 2017 Scottish Open after which Cabrera Bella reached a career-high 16th in the world rankings, adding: “As with all players it is their right to hire you, it is your right to go with that accept it; equally it is the same at the other end, both our choices to do it.
“If something is stale it is stale, it is not like a lot of jobs where you can hide amongst other people. It is so direct with a caddie-player relationship. If it is not firing, it is very hard to cover it.”
Byrne doesn’t yet have another bag planned or in the pipeline, but does hope that he will be back on the fairways at some point in 2021.