BMW Championship: Jason Day drops longtime caddie for 'buddy'
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Jason Day put his name in the ring for most controversial caddie splits of the year when he confirmed Wednesday his dismissal of longtime caddie Colin Swatton.
Many were shocked when Phil Mickelson and Jim "Bones" Mackay split earlier this summer, but Day's firing of Swatton was a twist even Hollywood's best screenwriters couldn't conjure.
Day and Swatton had been together for 11 years, with Swatton serving as a father figure in Day's life after the former world No. 1's dad passed away.
"That was the biggest thing, I'm sitting here and he's been my caddie for 11 years," Day said Wednesday. "I felt like if I was going to keep it going — I know that he wanted — he always wanted to work and do whatever he needs. He said, 'You can yell at me if you want,' that that's how good of a guy he is. I said, 'No, I can't damage the relationship that we've had together.'
"He's a father figure for me ever since I was a kid, and I wanted to make sure that it's still there. Went a little further and kept on like butting heads out there and also me. I'm the player. I'm the one — he's got zero ego. Unfortunately, sometimes I get in my own way. And, as golfers, it's a very mentally driven game and sometimes you look for blame elsewhere and obviously I'm not trying to blame him."
Day almost seemed to regret the decision when talking about what the switch will mean for him down the road.
"(Swatton's) still my coach. It may be somewhere down the road where four months from now — I don't even know how long it will be — but I can come back to him and say, 'Look, man, I made a mistake and I need to come back and have you on the bag,'" Day said. "Nothing between what he did on the golf course that obviously forced this.
"He was one of the hardest working caddies out there that I believed in, was always thorough and on top of everything, every information that he processed across to me as a player. Unfortunately, sometimes the chemistry just doesn't work. He's been my coach since I'm 12. Obviously this is a very hard time for both of us with regards to we had a relationship for so long, my caddie for 11 years."
Day, who is 28th in the FedEx Cup standings with just four top 10s this season, seemingly blindsided Swatton when giving him the news of his release.
"He was obviously a little bit shocked and disappointed," Day said. "Before the event, he sent me through my stats that I needed to look at. We always — we had conversations, my agent, my wife and obviously, him.
"I talked to him for about 25 minutes to an hour last week. Obviously, he needed some time just going over things and really trying — understand my feelings and what I wanted to try to accomplish in my career as a player and then obviously trying to get his feelings as well.
"So, you know, it's always hard because we've been a team for so long. We've been really tight and being so close for very long and we're still close. It's just — he's coming off the bag and going to more of a coaching role now."
For now, Day will use a friend this week to replace Swatton with a different friend possibly taking his place at the Presidents Cup.
"Going forward, I've got a buddy on the bag, I might have another buddy on the bag at the Presidents Cup and we'll see how it goes," Day said.