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Michelle Wie fires her caddie

Michelle Wie didn't make it through her first year as a professional without firing her caddie, getting rid of Greg Johnston after a tie for 26th in the Women's British Open.

Johnston began working for the 16-year-old from Hawaii when she made her pro debut last October in the Samsung World Championship, where Wie was disqualified over an illegal drop in the third round.

Wie had finished no worse than a tie for fifth in her first six LPGA Tour events this year, including three majors. She failed to break par in any of her four rounds at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and the tie for 26th was her worst finish on the LPGA Tour in two years.

A public relations firm in New York released a statement from the family that said Johnson's departure "comes as part of Michelle's maturation as a golfer, part of which is learning from many different bright golf minds."

Johnston said he had dinner Sunday night with Ross Berlin, Wie's agent. The next morning at the gate in the Manchester airport, Berlin told him he had been fired.

"I was shocked and surprised," Johnston said. "I was disappointed I didn't hear from them."

The Wie family was returning from England on Tuesday and did not immediately return a phone call.

Johnston previously caddied 12 years for Juli Inkster and was on the bag when she won four of her majors and qualifed for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Wie also used prominent PGA Tour caddies such as Fanny Sunesson, Mike "Fluff" Cowan and Jimmie Johnson while she was an amateur. She is not scheduled to play again until Sept. 7-10 at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, a men's event on the European Tour.

She also is scheduled to play the 84 Lumber Classic the following week on the PGA Tour, which will be her sixth attempt to become the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to make the cut on the PGA Tour.

August 9, 2006

 




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