AIG Women's Open: Carnoustie car salesman driving Lexi Thompson's title bid
Paul Drummond runs PD Cars, a family business in Carnoustie, but also does a “bit of caddying on the side” at a venue where he plays off plus two and knows the course like the back of his hand.
He was hoping he’d pick up a bag for this week’s AIG Women’s Open, but the 31-year-old hadn’t bargained for it being someone of Thompson’s calibre, bearing in mind the American is one of most recognisable faces in the game.
That’s exactly the opportunity that has arisen, though, after the world No 12 found herself needing a caddie for the season’s final major following a parting of ways with Jack Fulgham after the Olympics.
Leaning on Drummond for advice, particularly reading the greens, Thompson has started promisingly in the $5.8 million event, carding rounds of 69-70 to sit handily-placed heading into the weekend on five-under-par.
“It's been great,” said Thompson of the new partnership. “He knows the golf course like the back of his hand and I fully trust him.
“All of my shots have been very important with his advice because he tells me how it's going to bounce in front of the green and how it's going to roll up and where I should land it.
“I'm fully trusting him on his numbers and whether to hit it left or right of the pin, and he's been spot on.”
It’s not the first time that Thompson, who missed the cut in this event at Royal Troon 12 months ago, has had a Scot on her bag.
Kevin McAlpine, who is now married to Swede Anna Nordqvist, caddied for her in the same tournament at Kingsbarns in 2017 before taking up the job on a permanent basis for a spell.
“I'm having a good time with Paul on the bag and taking every bit of local knowledge out there,” she added, insisting there had been no language problems.
“I think he's talking a little bit slower for me, but I can understand him pretty well,” she said, smiling. “We're good.”
Drummond, who is even sporting a cap and top bearing Thompson’s club and clothing sponsors, revealed the opportunity had come about through the Carnoustie caddiemaster.
“I’ve had plenty of work here, but never anyone as high profile as Lexi Thompson,” he reported with a huge smile. “I would say she’s pretty good fun.
“It’s probably on the greens I’ve helped her most, If you’ve played here that often, you know the greens like the back of your hand and it’s about passing on that knowledge.”
Thompson, who tied for eighth in 2016 at Woburn, let a winning position slip from her grasp in the US Women’s Open in San Francisco earlier this year.
“I don't feel like I have any point to prove,” she insisted of potentially setting up another title challenge this weekend. “I feel like I've done that already in my career.
“Golf is such a crazy up-and-down game. You just have to take the downs and go with a positive attitude going into the next one.”
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