Jessica Korda gives caddie the boot
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- World No. 1 Inbee Park would like to make the U.S. Women's Open as much of a yawner as possible as she takes a four-stroke lead into the final day. So for a little drama Saturday, we turn to Jessica Korda, who gave her caddie the boot. In the middle of her round, that is.
At the turn at Sebonack Golf Club, Korda told caddie Jason Gilroyed that it just wasn't working and he needed to leave.
Korda, a 20-year-old pro competing in her sixth Women's Open, said she'd never done anything like that before. But she and Gilroyed were not seeing eye to eye, and Korda was feeling pretty miserable during her third round.
"Had a couple of disagreements here and there, and I wasn't in the right state of mind," said Korda, who finished Saturday with a 4-over 76 and is tied for sixth place, 11 shots behind Park. "I knew I needed to switch and just have a little bit more fun out there.
"It was tough for me, because I care about Jason a lot; he's a great guy. I'm not that type of person to take these things really easily. For me it was very hard to tell him that, and it took a lot for me."
Korda -- who is playing the tournament along with her younger sister, Nelly -- then turned to boyfriend Johnny DelPrete for help. He's also a pro golfer, playing on the Web.com Tour. He was following in the gallery.
"I just told him, 'Johnny, grab the bag, let's go,'" Korda said. "The first few holes I was very shaky. But my boyfriend/caddie kept me very calm out there and kept it very light. And it was kind of funny seeing him fumble over yardage."
Had he ever done that job before for Korda?
"No," she said. "I've always said I don't want him to caddie for me."
Korda said she wasn't sure whether the split with Gilroyed is permanent or something they can work out. After all, she still has two major tournaments left after the U.S. Women's Open, plus she is expected to be on the U.S. Solheim Cup team in August.
It's safe to assume, though, that Gilroyed has experienced some rough moments on the bag before. He previously was a caddie for Cristie Kerr, who is not known for hiding her displeasure when she is upset.
As for Nelly Korda ... well, she probably couldn't have fired her caddie no matter what. That's because he's her dad, Petr Korda, who previously caddied for Jessica when she was younger. Nelly, a 14-year-old amateur playing in the Women's Open for the first time, made the cut and shot a 79 on Saturday.
"They work really well together," Jessica said of Nelly and their dad, the former tennis pro.
Then Jessica went to pose for a photo with Nelly, Petr and other family members, leaving this parting thought: "Glad today is over."