Another week, another high-profile player-caddie split. On the heels of Grayson Murray’s acrimonious divorce from his looper at the Wells Fargo Championship, Vijay Singh parted ways with his caddie. What’s going on inside the ropes on the PGA Tour?
Kip Henley, Singh’s caddie, fired off this tweet after the golfer’s final-round 70 at TPC Sawgrass.
Life’s filled with tough decisions.I just made one an hour ago.I am seeking gainful employment.Pleas don’t ask for details.
— Kip Henley PGA loopr (@KipHenley) May 14, 2017
Henley has long been a bag-carrying fixture on the PGA Tour. He worked with Brian Gay for 10 years (and three wins) and teed it up in nine PGA Tour events himself from 1990 to 2011.
The pair were on the verge of giving the PGA Tour the champion it didn’t want through two rounds at The Players. After Singh’s second-round 68, the man who is still embroiled in a legal battle with the Tour over his deer antler spray-related suspension and public shaming, looked like he could win the PGA Tour’s flagship event.
However, a third-round 79 sunk those hopes, and Vijay Singh ultimately finished tied for 16th. He had made just two cuts in 11 prior PGA Tour starts in 2017, so the showing was his best on Tour this season by a wide margin.
The Singh-Henley duo had only been together since March. While Henley has indicated he’s not saying anything further about the split, and Singh himself will certainly be mum, it’s worth remembering how difficult Vijay’s bag is.
Famous caddie-player duos:
Caddie Paul Tesori, Vijay Singh’s caddie in 2001-2002, famously only had 24 days off during the two-year period, expected to be on the range from 10 to 6 every day during non-tournament weeks and accompanying Singh for even more strenuous practice during events.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of time for the rest of life,” Tesori, who now caddies for Webb Simpson, said of his time with Singh. “I lost a marriage over it. I wasn’t willing to change my job because I knew obviously it was the chance of a lifetime financially.”
Chad Reynolds, who caddied for Singh from 2007 to 2010 had plenty of kind words for his boss, but he also indicated the importance (and demands) Singh places on his caddie.
“He is one of the most generous people I have ever met. When you’re with Vijay, the one good thing these guys (on Tour) don’t get, it is a team. Him and his caddie, that’s a team. That’s his team. That’s it. That’s all he relies on. If half these guys got it, they’d be a lot more successful; they really would.”
Regarding Kip Henley, persistent spelling and grammatical issues aside, the man is a great follow on Twitter. Naturally, he has accumulated decades of inside-the-ropes knowledge. But he’s also ready to rebut golf media silliness.
Consider this response to the suggestion that Vijay Singh isn’t working as hard as he had in previous years, which was floating around the media-sphere as Singh rocketed up The Players leaderboard. Henley promptly shut that suggestion down.
We warmed up for 2 hours Thursday played a 5+ hour round and practiced for almost 4 hours after the round Thursday. Slowing down ? https://t.co/OsEcT7v5Ku
— Kip Henley PGA loopr (@KipHenley) May 13, 2017
You have to hope Henley, capable veteran that he is, finds another bag quickly. And while the specifics of the split may never be known, we do know the tall task that looping for Vijay Singh is. Hopefully, his next bag man has the same knowledge and all-sacrificing dedication.