In an interview with Golf Channel, Andy Pazder, the tour’s executive vice president and chief of operations, said: “We have advised the folks at Colonial and out in Phoenix to discontinue the caddie races. It was a situation where we developed a little concern about caddies’ safety. Running 150 yards puts caddies at risk for injury. I had caddies come to me in Phoenix and at Colonial saying, ‘This is ridiculous, it’s like we are a carnival show.’”
It is worth noting that caddies, who work for individual golfers, do not receive health-care benefits from the PGA Tour. That makes liability issues a concern in the event a caddie would be injured while participating in one of the voluntary races.
Colonial officials confirmed this morning that they will abide by the edict, ending a popular practice at Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour stop.
Michael Tothe, Colonial tournament director, issued a statement this morning about the PGA Tour edict. Tothe said: “In keeping on brand with our title sponsor Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and their message of providing a better night’s sleep, and to support the PGA Tour’s wishes, we are putting the caddie races to bed. Good night caddie races, it’s been fun.”
In a text message, Tothe declined additional comment but said Colonial officials “will be 100 percent supportive” of the tour’s stance in regard to ending the races in Fort Worth.
_ Jimmy Burch