Gibson fires caddy over costly hazard mishap
Hitting his golf ball into some rocks has cost Aussie professional Rhein Gibson dearly…and left him red-faced after firing his caddy and even hurling a putter cover at him in frustration.
The incident occurred at the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic and has left Gibson embarrassed and his caddy Brandon Davis claiming innocence after he picked up his player’s ball when it became apparent it would be unplayable.
Battling to make his mark on the secondary Web.com Tour, Gibson was playing well and had worked himself up to be one shot off the lead in a tie for second when the incident occurred.
The New South Welshman hooked an approach on the par-five into some rocks beside the green. His caddy Davis explained on social media that he thought they might be able to find the ball among the rocks and possibly even play it.
A Tour official did find Gibson’s ball and that’s where the trouble began
“Rhein and I go over, look at it, I say ‘it’s under two rocks, we got nothing’.”
“Rhein turns around and walks to his bag as if to say ‘forget it’ – clearly intending never to play the ball.”
“The ball is dead, Rhein is clearly not hitting this golf ball, so I go over and pick it up.”
Gibson took a penalty drop and Davis says the problem was an official claimed Gibson was also due a one-shot penalty for his caddie “not getting consent” to pick the ball up.
That extra stroke meant the Australian dropped to third. He removed the cover from his putter and threw it at Davis in frustration.
“I cost my player $16,000 because I went over to a hazard and picked up a golf ball,” said Davis.
Gibson has apologised and admitted his actions were “less than professional”.
“He plays a lot better when he’s mad, we’re friends off the golf course,” said Davis.
Still the caddie maintains his actions were legal, saying the rules state “there is no penalty if there was no doubt or it was reasonable to assume from the player’s actions or statements that he would make his next stroke from outside the water hazard.”
“I found the rule. I’m defending what I did. I did nothing wrong,” Davis said.
Canada’s Adam Svensson won the event by a shot while Gibson finished two shots back in third place.