Allenby's ex-caddie refutes Canadian Open firing story

Robert Allenby
USA Today Sports Images
There was an ugly scene at the Canadian Open on Thursday, when PGA Tour veteran Robert Allenby got into a confrontation with his caddie. Their versions of what played out are very different.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, July 24, 2015 | 10:15 a.m.

In case you missed it yesterday in the first round of the RBC Canadian Open, Australian golfer Robert Allenby once again found himself in an odd situation.

You can read all about what happened here. Long story short, Allenby had a disagreement with his caddie after a poor shot. According to Allenby, the argument escalated quickly and he essentially feared for his safety because of the intensity of his caddie, Mick Middlemo.

RELATED: Allenby reportedly beaten, robbed | Allenby stands by story

As a result, Allenby fired Middlemo mid-round and used a spectator as his looper for his final nine holes on his way to a 9-over 81. (UPDATE: On Friday, Allenby withdrew from the Canadian Open.) 

In part, Allenby told ScoreGolf.com:

"And I said, 'Look, you need to slow down. I mean just calm down.' And then he just got right in my face as if he wanted to just beat me up," he said. "I said, 'Stop being a such and such and calm down and get back into the game.' And he just got even closer and closer, and I just said, 'That's it, you're sacked.' I said, 'I will never have you caddie ever again.' And we never spoke for the rest of the (first nine), and when we got to 18 we walked off, and he said some smartass remark to me, and I said, 'You don't deserve to be caddying out there.' And he just got right in my face and threatened me, so I said, 'Go.' So he left."

ESPN.com caught up with Middlemo. His version of this bizarre story is a tad different than Allenby's.

Earlier this year, Allenby alleged while playing in Hawaii that he was kidnapped, beaten and robbed -- claims that have been met with skepticism by law enforcement (a man in Hawaii -- who used Allenby's credit card -- was recently sentenced to a jail term).

Middlemo told ESPN.com: "I just wished it had never gone this far. But he is again using the media to make himself look like the victim."

So here's Middlemo's version of events on Thursday, which a source following the group verified to ESPN.com:

"The discussion was only about waiting for the wind to die down and hit the 8-iron; the 7-iron was never discussed. Not once. He came up 10 meters short of the front of the green. ... He hit a bad shot.

"He said, 'I can't believe this fat (expletive),' loud enough for everyone to hear. There's a lot as a caddie I can take but a personal attack like that. ... If this was an office in any country in the world, that would be considered bullying. ... I can take it if you call me the worst caddie in the world, tell me I'm horrible at picking clubs, but there's a line you just can't cross."

Fox Sports Australia is reporting this is the fourth time a caddie has walked off the course on Allenby.

"He’s just a bully," Middlemo told Fox. "He likes to bully caddies. You couldn’t get away with that in any workplace in the world, but somehow he thinks it’s appropriate on a golf course.

"It’s the worst I’ve ever heard. But it’s not like I’m the first guy this has happened to with him. I’m the fourth caddie to walk off the golf course with him." 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.