Jeff Golden, who lost the Mid-Amateur Championship when he conceded to opponent Marc Dull after claiming that Dull’s caddy sucker-punched him in the parking lot during a rain delay, doubled down on his version of events in a post on TwitLonger, wherein he says the man who allegedly sucker-punched him, caddy Brandon Hibbs, was under the influence:
When my name was announced on the first tee, my opponent’s caddie immediately asked an off color question. I laughed off the timing of that question, along with many other examples of bad etiquette to come. Alcohol appeared to be influencing his behavior. I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor.
Golden says throughout the match prior to the fateful 9th hole he was laughing off the behavior, though he apparently did try to get things under control by expressing his “disappointment with their etiquette to the match referee following our group.”
We’ve been tut-tutted about the influences of booze on the behavior of fans, but maybe the true threat to golf’s neutered aesthetic is all these drunk and belligerent caddies out here punching innocent golfers. Unless, that is, Golden’s story is made up. Not impossible! Either way, Golden’s description of the event on the 9th that led to Dull being penalized a hole and Hibbs recusing himself doesn’t make him seem a whole lot more sympathetic:
The ruling that came from the caddie’s comments on the ninth hole started because of a simple question that I posed: “Was that advice?” I thought this was the only way to slow down the caddie, clean up the etiquette and play a gentlemanly match. I felt justified in my decision, especially since my opponent then asked his caddie, “Why did you say that?” The caddie recused himself from the match, but he didn’t leave the property.
After calling the ruling on 9, my hope was that the match would move in a more gentlemanly direction, but the opposite proved true.
This was pretty clearly a failure by the match official to get things under control earlier in the day. And it was also a failure of a group of adults to act like grownups and arrive at some sort of accord whereby no one participating in the match was especially annoyed by the behavior of anyone else. But, also, who would’ve ever guessed using the rulebook as a passive aggressive substitute for politely asking someone to pipe down would lead to increased hostility? Impossible to see that one coming. At any rate, here’s the entire post from Golden, if you’re interested in seeing how many times the words “etiquette” and “gentlemanly” can be used in one recap.