Caddies' Open book

Cracking read from Mainstream Sport

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 30 Oct 2001
Caddies' Open book
Cracking read.
My old mate Norman Dabell, a broadcaster for Radio 5 Live and and contributor to the Daily Telegraph has a reputation for being accident prone.

The stories about him on the European Tour are legend and if he wrote a book about his own exploits it would be a best-seller.

However, he chooses to ply his trade telling other people’s tales of woe, with great style and feeling and his latest composition is an update of his successful paperback ‘Winning the Open – Caddie stories from four decades of The Open’ first published in 2000.

The latest chapter features Mitch Knox, caddie to 2001 winner David Duval but it’s the antics of Myles Byrne, the Irish caddie of Ian Woosnam that steals the headlines and almost reflects Dabell’s own hilarious scrapes.

Byrne, you will recall, left an extra club in Woosie’s bag, earned the Welshman a two shot penalty – and it probably cost him his second major title. In the book Dabell has great sympathy for Byrne and rightly points out it might never have happened had the first hole at Lytham not been a par-3.

Woosie reached for a 6-iron and stuck his tee shot inches from the pin for an opening birdie. It wasn’t until they stepped on the par-4 second tee that Byrne uttered the immortal words ‘Ian you’re going to go ballistic!’

The rest is history but the R&A, says Dabell must take some of the blame.

"An official used to enquire of a player if he had checked his club-count. But they became disenchanted with sarcastic replies and had withdrawn their official enquiries by the time the 2001 Open took place," he points out.

Sadly a contractual agreement prevented neither Byrne nor Knox from discussing The Open with Dabell for his excellent book but earlier chapters make it a cracking read for those wanting to know what goes on behind the scenes at an Open.

‘Winning the Open – Caddie stories from four decades of The Open’ is published by Mainstream Sport (Price £7.99) and is available at most good book stores from November 8.