Caddie praised for putting up with 'madness'
Published 19/07/2011 | 05:00
DARREN CLARKE and his Bray caddie John Mulrooney, also 42, came precariously close to breaking up in the run-up to the British Open -- the second and by far the most spectacular of their two victories in just seven tournaments together.
The pair fell out during last Sunday week's final round of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart as the Ulsterman's frustration with his play brought him close to meltdown.
Known in Tour caddie circles as "the madness", this condition overcomes many a player on the professional fairways.
Clarke's caddies are required to quickly take the situation in hand.
A vastly experienced caddie after working alongside luminaries like Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Steve Webster, Mulrooney was relatively new on the Ulsterman's bag in Scotland and decided to hold his counsel.
This led to quite a tete-a-tete between them, both men giving as good as they got in a frank exchange which certainly cleared the air before the Open.
Just as well. As Clarke revealed yesterday: "John has been fantastic. When I went to Mallorca seven weeks ago, he was meant to caddie for David Howell, who got injured, and then he was supposed to caddie for Maarten Lafeber and he got injured too.
"Ricky Roberts was meant to caddie for me but he went to the induction of Ernie Els into the Hall of Fame, which is fine. I ended up with John working for me, which was wonderful. He's a very good guy, very quiet and a little different, but a very, very good caddie.
"We had a tough week in Scotland, where he didn't quite know what to do when I was having a little bit of a wobbly on Sunday, but he obviously knows a lot better now what to say to me and how to deal with me, and he was fantastic at the Open.
"It's fantastic to have an Irish caddie for an Irish winner at the Open."