Lorena Ochoa fired David Brooker, her caddie of nearly three years, June 22, Golfweek has learned.
Brooker fractured his ankle during an organized soccer match at the Corona Championship in April and tried to make a comeback two weeks ago at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship. He carried the bag for one round before enlisting the help of longtime caddie Greg Johnston to finish the week.
Ochoa now has hired Johnston full-time.
“It came as a shock to me because I haven’t really been working lately,” said Brooker, who hoped to make his return in July at the Evian Masters. “Things seemed fine before my injury. Obviously that didn’t help the situation.”
Ochoa won twice with Brooker on the bag this season, first in Thailand and then in Mexico, although her instructor, Rafael Alarcon, worked the final round of the Corona after Brooker’s injury.
Brooker, 35, of England, began working with Ochoa in August 2006, and they won their first week together at the Wendy’s Championship for Children. Ochoa won 21 of 58 events with Brooker on the bag.
“I know Lorena is going through a lot of changes right now,” Brooker said. “But I didn’t think one would be me.”
Johnston left Angela Park to work for Ochoa. Their first start together will be the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic July 2-5. Johnston’s previous gigs include a longtime stint with Juli Inkster, whom he left for Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome and Suzann Pettersen.
Golfweek left an e-mail seeking comment with Ochoa’s management company, which did not immediately respond.