Robert Allenby fires caddie mid-round in the Canadian Open

Graeme McDowell also has round to forget as he shoots three over at Oakville, Ontario

Australia’s Robert Allenby fired his caddie mid-round after an argument during the first day of the Canadian Open. Photograph: Getty

Australia’s Robert Allenby fired his caddie mid-round after an argument during the first day of the Canadian Open. Photograph: Getty

 

Australian Robert Allenby had a day to forget as he fired his caddie mid-round then shot a nine-over 81 at the Canadian Open.

The 44-year-old felt the need to remove his caddie, Mick Meddlemo, after a disagreement over club selection and carried his own bag out for the first hole after the turn before accepting the offer of help from a spectator.

Allenby, who later said he would withdraw, told SCOREGolf.com that arguments with his caddie had become commonplace.

“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’,” he said.

“He just lost the plot at me. 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.”’

After two triple bogeys on the back nine, Allenby’s fortunes improved after the sacking but with four successive bogeys he was still left propping up the leaderboard.

It was also a day to forget for Graeme McDowell who posted a three over par round of 75 to sit in a tie for 138th position after the opening round in Ontario.

McDowell, who finished tied for 49th in the British Open, had made a steady start at Oakville with seven consecutive pars before two double-bogeys and a bogey in the next four holes ruined his round, leaving him 11 shots off the lead and out of contention.

At the other end of the spectrum, Argentinian Emiliano Grillo took a one-shot lead on the opening day with a fine eight-under 64.

Grillo’s blemish-free round was a model of consistency with four birdies either side of the turn, although he has American duo Vaughn Taylor and Brian Haman tied in second place breathing down his neck.

Just behind them Steve Wheatcroft, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Ryan Ruffels and Erik Compton are locked on six under.

Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Jason Day are all four shots off the lead further back, while Brian Davis is the highest placed Englishman on three under with Luke Donald scoring par.

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