2017 has been the season of caddie change-ups; for the third time in less than three months, golfers have given their caddies the axe. Top players like Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy are searching for ways to improve their performances at the expense of the men carrying their bags.
Jason Day becomes the third as he announced Wednesday that he would be splitting from longtime caddie Colin Swatton. He is said to be replacing Swatton with his high school roommate Luke Reardon, a similar direction to McIlroy who used his best man on the bag after firing his caddie.
— George Savaricas (@GeorgeSavaricas) September 13, 2017
Yes it's true. @JDayGolf will try out high school roommate Luke Reardon as his caddie this week. Col Swatton remains coach.
— Ben Everill (@BEverillPGATOUR) September 13, 2017
Day and Swatton have been a duo since Day was 12-years-old attending Kooralbyn International School in Australia where Swatton was the golf coach at the time. Swatton took Day under his wing shortly after his father passed away.
“I lose my dad at 12 and then meet Colin, and to have him walk the journey with me, have him walk up the 18th hole with me, was just a special, special experience I could never forget,” Day said after winning the 2015 PGA at Whistling Straits. “It’s just — an amazing feeling I have.”
The 11-year relationship on the course has come to an end due to tensions rising as the season is coming to a close with no wins under Day’s belt and only four Top 10 appearances.
The split supposedly came as a shock to Swatton when Day broke the news, leaving him disappointed, although he will remain as his coach.
“He needed some time just going over things and really understand my feelings and what I wanted to try to accomplish in my career as a player, and then obviously trying to get his feelings as well,” Day said. “It’s always hard because we’ve been a team for so long. We’ve been really tight and being so close for very long and we’re still close.”
“He’s always going to be my coach, always will, unless he gets paid more somewhere else,” Day said. “I’m planning on trying to keep him around. I don’t want anyone else to get coached by him because he’s a really good coach.”
Jason Day's been with Col Swatton since he was 12. Col's been a surrogate father. At some point, we all leave home & find our own way
— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) September 13, 2017
The chemistry this season on the course suffered due to Day’s performance, and the golfer started to blame his caddie for things that were out of his control. He realized once they stopped talking to each other off the course, that he needed to make a change before their entire friendship imploded.
Jason Day’s replacement caddie may have a short run on the bag, as Day needs to remain in the Top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings (currently at No. 28) to advance to the Tour Championship next week.