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Van de Velde hires a new bagman

Frenchman Jean Van de Velde, whose triple-bogey seven at the final hole cost him the British Open title last month, has changed his controversial caddie.

His new bag carrier beginning this week at the NEC Invitational in Akron, Ohio, will be Australian Graham Heindrich, who has worked in the past for Nick Faldo and Greg Norman.

Van de Velde's misadventures on Carnoustie's 72nd hole, where he could have won with a double-bogey six, earned him a huge reputation. But his caddie at the time, Christophe Angiolini, was widely criticized for not intervening in the Frenchman's decision making.

Van de Velde later defended his bag-carrier, which many felt should have convinced him to play safer second or third shots before hitting into the greenside stream.

"If he had stood in my way with a wedge in his hand I would have knocked him down and thrown him in the water," Van de Velde said with a smile after the Open.

But he explained this week, in the wake of his qualification for Europe's Ryder Cup team, that he was parting with Angiolini. Van de Velde said their working agreement expired Sunday.

Heindrich takes over his bag beginning Thursday, a tournament for players on Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams.