Job insecurity is part of life in the 21st century. And it’s certainly the norm if you’re a caddie for a player on the PGA Tour.
In a move that surprised many observers in the golf world, former World No. 1 Jason Day has split—at least temporarily—with his longtime caddie Colin Swatton. Day will tee it up in the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club with friend Luke Reardon on the bag.
Day described Swatton’s reaction to the news as “a little bit shocked and disappointed.”
That’s understandable, especially since Swatton’s relationship with Day goes a lot deeper than looping for the Aussie through the years. As GolfChannel.com’s Will Gray wrote, “[Swatton] was part caddie, part coach and part father figure after taking Day under his wing as a youth.”
Day seemed apologetic about what must have been a very tough decision. He settled on making the switch last week during a break in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
“The chemistry between me and Col just slowly [changed]over time,” he said. “It’s more my fault really because he’s out there trying to do the best job he can and, unfortunately, sometimes it just doesn’t work out no matter how hard he works.”
The fact is, Day hasn’t been playing particularly well. He began the year ranked No. 1 and has since dropped to No. 9 in the world. Day’s last win came over a year ago at the 2016 Players Championship. As Golf Channel’s Mark Rolfing mentioned, he has fallen to 177th in driving accuracy.
“I’m going to kind of just see how the rest of the year goes with whoever is on the bag,” Day added, “see if I can actually get something going. If that doesn’t work out, if I don’t like the way I work with these guys, then maybe a bag shift for next year.”
Day is just the latest high-profile player to switch caddies. Phil Mickelson ended his 25-year relationship with Jim “Bones” Mackay a few months ago. Phil’s brother Tim is now carrying the bag. And in late July Rory McIlroy sidelined his longtime caddie J.P. Fitzgerald and employed pal Harry Diamond.
That’s the way of the world. Jobs are found; jobs are lost. Especially if you’re a caddie on the professional circuit.