Matt Wallace makes peace move at Open after Pete Cowen urges ban

Matt Wallace, who plays with Tiger Woods in the opening two rounds, was seen making up with top coach Pete Cowen on the eve of the Open Championship after an earlier row broke out between the pair at Royal Portrush.

England's Matt Wallace has apologised for on-course behaviour. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty
England's Matt Wallace has apologised for on-course behaviour. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty

In an interview in the build- up to the final major of the season, Cowen, who works with a host of top players, including world No 1 Brooks Koepka, claimed that Wallace should be banned for his on-course behaviour.

The Englishman didn’t hide his disappointment as he let a last-round lead slip in the Betfred British Masters at Hillside in May before remonstrating with his caddie, Dave McNeilly, in last month’s BMW International Open in Munich.

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“He is a complete idiot and the European Tour has to do something about it,” said Cowen. “A b********g is no good, a fine is no good. He needs a ban. It’s a form of cheating because you’re putting your opponent off. The best thing would have been if his caddie had dropped his bag – I’d have chucked it in the bloody lake – but that wouldn’t do Dave McNeilly any good.”

The remarks prompted a response from Wallace’s agent, Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, who said: “It’s a shame on the eve of Matt playing with Tiger at such a special event that something has come up for which Matt has already apologised and signified that he is and has been addressing. Matt is determined to control his emotions and has been working with Dr Steve McGregor on the issue and the pair are confident they have made great strides, together with input from Dave.

“Matt and Dave have a terrific relationship and are very close. Matt is only in his third full season as a Tour professional. He’s a good kid who hasn’t smashed up markers or abused officials unlike some other players and to say he should be banned is utterly ridiculous. I remember a young player who I was on Tour with in the 70s who was renowned for his tantrums and snapping clubs. His name was Pete Cowen.”