Golfer Jessica Korda
First I realize that golfers have disputes with their caddies. We recently witnessed 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson having words with his caddie. And famously years ago at the British Open we had Ian Woosnam throwing clubs out of his bag because his caddie had allowed too many clubs to be placed in Woosnam s bag.
Second I realize as a consequence that golfers can/will fire their caddies.
But during Saturday s third round of the United States Women s Open at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton NY Jessica Korda fired her caddie Jason Gilroyed at the turn.
Because women s golf doesn t really move the popularity needle this story did not receive the attention it might have if it had happened to Tiger Woods Rory McIlroy or Phil Mickelson.
That said this classless display of brat like behavior deserves a significant fine from either the LPGA Tour or the USGA. This type of behavior cannot become commonplace.
Imagine if Serena Williams after losing a tightly contested tiebreaker turned to her player s box and fired her coach in mid match (which if you believe the rumors would also likely end their personal relationship).
Or if Danica Patrick fired her crew chief after the 100th lap of a 200 lap race.
If I m the commissioner of the women s golf tour I don t want people tuning in every week to see the melodrama associated with the next hissy fit thrown by a spoiled young woman be it Jessica Korda or someone else.
The focus of the weekend should be on current leader and likely winner Inbee Park who with a victory on Sunday will hold the first three women s majors of the season the first time that has been accomplished since Babe Zaharias did so in 1950
Instead people are talking about Jessica Korda.
The lack of professionalism displayed in this matter is truly embarrassing for the tour and USGA while only exhibiting behavior that reinforces some negative stereotypes associated with women s athletics.
Currently ranked 39th in the world as a 20 year old Ms. Korda shows promise. Of course when exhibiting these sorts of theatrics one must wonder how this type of behavior could negatively impact her own marketability should she slowly climb the world rankings.
Patrick is an Economics Professor at the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University in St Louis MO and the Founder/Director of Sportsimpacts. Follow him on Twitter.