Everyone has a bad day at the office now and again, but for John McLaren—caddie to Paul Casey—his unfortunately made headlines worldwide.
McLaren, affectionately known as Johnny Long Socks on tour, was on the bag for Casey at the WGC-Mexico Championship when he suffered what can only be described as the worst nightmare for any caddie.
The bagman had done his background work the night before the third round at Chapultepec Golf Club, discovering the pin positions to ensure that Casey had all the information required to make moving day one in which he surged up the leaderboard.
The only problem was that McLaren had written down all of the pin positions for the Puerto Rico Open in his book, and not those for the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Casey subsequently played three holes of Chapultepec – starting on the 10th as he played the back nine first—before the pair realised the information McLaren was giving was for somewhere else and not the course they were playing.
“(Hole) 10 we played to a position on the green, we knew where the flag was because we could see it,” said Casey.
“(Hole) 11 I played to a position on the green, 10 (yards) on. He actually had the pin right on 11 because he had the pin sheet out.
“We get to 12, he said ‘do you need a number?’ No because we hit driver down there.
“It wasn’t until the 13th where he said ‘you need to land it on about 17’ and I said ‘but the pin is only 13 on the green.’
“He suddenly looked in his book and realised that he had written down every single pin that was wrong, and he couldn’t figure out why.”
Casey and McLaren eventually figured out just what had happened—and it made for entertainment for many of social media with Lee Westwood and Luke Donald among those ribbing the caddie for his error.
It turned out that with the WGC-Mexico Championship being played the same week as another PGA Tour tournament, McLaren had taken down the pin positions of the Puerto Rico Open when getting his data online on Friday evening.
Casey added: “Eventually we figured out it was the Puerto Rico pins he pulled off the internet the night before.
“And for the only time in his life he didn’t double-check them in the morning sitting in the breakfast room.
“We actually did not make a mistake yesterday because we played to a position on the green rather than the pin position and we caught ourselves when we played to a pin.
“But he’s gotten all sorts of abuse. Westwood threw him fully under the bus on Twitter yesterday and everybody wailed in on it.”
The error didn’t stop Casey as he posted back-to-back rounds of 65 (six-under par) to finish in tied third spot overall in Mexico behind runaway winner Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
It was his second top-three finish of the season having also finished runner-up in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am to Phil Mickelson.
See also: Paul Casey Rejoins European Tour