The biggest mistake in the 2001 Open Championship was by Ian Woosnam. Caddies play an important role in a player’s performance. But even they are not exempt from making mistakes. Such was the case with Ian Woosnam and his caddy Myles Byrne during an Open Championship.
It was a wonderful start for Ian Woosnam at the 2001 Open: against all odds he was in a great position to win his first Open at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s. Equal to the lead with three other players, he still had 18 holes to finish the tournament.
He started the last round with a birdie (missing the hole by a hair) at the opening par 3.
Ian Woosnam, statements
The direction of things then took a sudden turn. His caddy, Myles Byrne, walked up to him and said, “Now you’re going to get mad -” We’ve got two drivers in the bag, “as he pointed to the extra stick.
This meant Woosnam was carrying 15 sticks, equal to … a two-stroke penalty. Woosnam reacted by throwing the wood to the ground with blatant disappointment. “I’m giving you a job to do and that’s what happens,” he said .
As a result of the penalty, Woosnam finished with 71 strokes, four behind winner David Duval, in 3rd place tied. Here’s what the golf rule says (4-4), Limitation to fourteen sticks The player must not start a conventional round with more than fourteen clubs.
He must limit himself to using the clubs so chosen for that round except that, if he started with fewer than fourteen clubs, he can add any number as long as the total does not exceed fourteen. A mistake that cost Ian Woosnam 218,333 pounds and a potential seat in the Ryder Cup.
Even for caddy Byrne the losses were between 15 and 20 thousand pounds in gains. Woosnam decided almost immediately, surprisingly, not to fire him, stating: “It’s the biggest mistake you will make in his life. He won’t do it anymore.
He is a good caddy. I’m not going to fire him. He’s a good guy ” Ironically, Woosnam fired his caddy within two weeks after he was completely drunk and stayed asleep and didn’t show up on time for tee-time.