When players lose their cool, it’s certainly not a pleasant time for the caddie. What occurred Wednesday, though, was certainly a rarity.
The Web.com Tour’s Bahamas Great Abaco Classic was finishing up with Rhein Gibson in position for a potential win or at least a high finish. The Aussie pulled off the latter with a solo third showing at 15 under, two shots behind winner Adam Svensson.
But the performance included a bogey at the closing par 5 when a birdie would’ve likely forced a playoff. Gibson’s second shot found a hazard and he took a penalty drop.
The drama really began to simmer when Gibson was assessed an additional one-shot penalty after his caddie, Brandon Davis, retrieved the ball in the hazard before any drop had commenced. That’s because an official ruled that the looper breached Rule 18-2 by picking up a ball while it was still in play.
Gibson was understandably quite upset about the extra infraction, and after chipping to tap-in range for bogey, he harshly let Davis know what he thought about the development:
That is not a good look. At all.
Even if this situation played a role in some significant money lost.
“It was just in the heat of the moment. I’m obviously playing well and I put myself in a great position, but when that happens it (could) cost me upwards of 15 or 18 thousands dollars (Editor’s Note: Actually, 12 thousand),” Gibson told the Australian Associated Press. “He walks in there, gets my ball and costs me a penalty. At that point, I’m either trying to chip in or limit the damage and I made a good six (bogey).
Despite the headcover toss footage and those strong comments, Gibson to his credit did seem to quickly realize post-round how this behavior was inappropriate.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t the last word.
Davis also took to Twitter to offer his thoughts. The caddie made it clear he didn’t feel a penalty for picking up the ball should’ve been assessed.
Davis further clarified he felt the rules official was the one who messed up by calling an erroneous penalty.
He also revealed that Gibson fired him.
Davis played college golf at Emory and said he was caddying for Cameron Percy in the fall before moving to the Web.com Tour because of a lack of starts for Percy. Davis caddied for Gibson last week as well.
He gave a full video explainer afterward of how he felt everything transpired. It’s all worth watching as Davis points out that Gibson plays best when he’s mad but that he’s a good person and the pair have been friends:
So yeah, this thing has a lot of layers. We may not be done with this unusual episode either. We’ll update if we hear more.
For now, this will certainly go down as one of the most eventful Wednesdays of the 2018 golf season.