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Sorenstam splits with longtime caddie

Caddiegate has spread to the LPGA Tour.

Annika Sorenstam, a three-time player of the year, confirmed that she has split with longtime caddie Colin Cann. Sorenstam's husband, David Esch, caddied for her in the second round of the LPGA Championship.

"It comes to a point where it's like old hat," Sorenstam said. "You do the same thing over and over again, and you need to do something different. Over the last month, we've both been trying really hard. I think we both needed a break."

While player-caddie relationships do not last forever, this only added to the list of several notable splits this year.

Tiger Woods dumped Mike "Fluff" Cowan after the Nissan Open in Los Angeles in March. Two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els parted ways with Ricci Roberts. Mark O'Meara, who won two major championships in 1998, fired Jerry Higginbotham after the Masters.

Sorenstam and Cann, an Englishman and one of the most respected caddies on the LPGA Tour, have been together the past six years, during which Sorenstam has been the most successful player in women's golf. She has won 16 times, including back-to-back U.S. Opens, and last year became the first woman to have a scoring average under 70.

Sorenstam said the split Thursday evening was mutual -- she asked Cann to take a break, and he agreed.

"He's a great caddie and I want him to work," she said. "He's definitely one of the best out here. We've been through a lot together, and a lot of my success is thanks to him."

Without Cann, Sorenstam had to mark off her own yardage for the first time in years.

"David had to help me find the sprinklers," she said.

Esch, who turned professional last year to play with his wife in the JC Penney Mixed Team Classic, said his stint as Sorenstam's caddie would only last through the weekend. Sorenstam had a 3-under 68 and was at 141, seven strokes out of the lead.

"It's not my cup of tea. She knows that, and I know that," he said. "I've caddied three or four times, but only for things like the Skins Game -- not major championships."

 

AP