Irish tour caddie, Colin Byrne has confirmed that after a largely successful four year spell working alongside Rafa Cabrera Bello, the pair have parted ways.
Eagle-eyed observers would’ve perhaps tuned into a Byrne-less Cabrera Bello wandering the fairways of the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Classic this week. That’s only because Byrne is back in Dublin, forgoing Mexican sunshine after a one-to-one with Cabrera Bello meant that last month’s Masters proved to be the pair’s final tournament together.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while. You know when it’s not happening and the nature is to hang on a bit,” Byrne told the Irish Times.
Like many of us, Byrne, who has worked with some giant names in golf including the likes of Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Darren Clarke, has been given pause for thought by the virus known as Covid-19. The Masters wasn’t meant to be the pair’s last tournament together; that was supposed to be the following week’s RSM Classic where Byrne was stood down as a close contact of a confirmed Covid case. And it’s on such small margins that Byrne was able to see clearly:
“It is also a symptom of Covid, everyone gets the time to reflect, don’t they,” he says. “I think it has happened to a lot of people who get time to consider what they are doing in their lives and maybe make a decision they wouldn’t have made if they were still on the treadmill of what they normally do.
“We had four great years. As with all players it is their right to hire you, it is your right to go with that accept it; equally it is the same at the other end, both our choices to do it. If something is stale it is stale, it is not like a lot of jobs where you can hide amongst other people. It is so direct with a caddie-player relationship. If it is not firing, it is very hard to cover it.”
Byrne guided his charge Rafa to a high of 16th on the world rankings with the pair savouring Scottish Open success back in 2017. He has no immediate plans to return to the fairways with another player but expressed his desire to Philip Reid of the Irish Times to return to the fairways at some point in 2021.