Jessica Korda parted ways with her caddie after the ninth hole of the U.S. Women’s Open and promptly told her boyfriend to grab the bag. Korda shot 40 on the front nine with Jason Gilroyed, her caddie of one year, and was 1 under on the back nine with her boyfriend of 18 months, Johnny DelPrete.
“Had a couple of disagreements here and there, and I wasn’t in the right state of mind,” said Korda. “I just was more consumed on what was going on just not my way. And I knew I needed to switch and just have a little bit more fun out there.”
Gilroyed has been caddying on the LPGA since 1996. Former bosses include Rosie Jones, I.K. Kim and two stints with Cristie Kerr. Gilroyed said the relationship had been deteriorating in recent weeks.
“It’s a shame it had to go down on the ninth hole,” he said by phone.
Korda, 20, came into the third round at Sebonack Golf Club trailing leader Inbee Park by six. She two-putted the par-5 18th for birdie to shoot 4-over 76 Saturday and stands tied for sixth.
Prior to Gilroyed, Korda had Annika Sorenstam’s long-term caddie, Terry McNamara on the bag.
DelPrete, a Canadian Tour and former Web.com player, said he was shocked when Korda called him in. She admitted to being shaken up the first three holes of the back nine and relied on DelPrete to calm her down.
“You’ve just got to talk to her,” said DelPrete, who cracked jokes and kept it light. “It was a good team effort.”
Petr Korda, the former men’s tennis champion, was looping for his youngest daughter Nelly on the opposite side of the course when the caddie switch went down. Nelly, 14, struggled like many did on a windy day on Long Island, shooting 79. Petr sat in the bleachers after their round to watch his eldest come up the 18th.
Jessica was later asked if there was any chance Nelly would let her caddie go Sunday. She laughed and said, “No, I wouldn’t even let that happen.”