Sandy Lyle leads tributes to caddie Dave Musgrove

Sandy Lyle led the tributes yesterday following the death of Dave Musgrove, the caddie who carried the Scot's bag in both his major wins.

Sandy Lyle, right, with caddie Dave Musgrove after winning the Open at Royal St George's in 1985. Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images

Musgrove, a much-loved figure within the sport, also helped two other players, Seve Ballesteros and Lee Janzen, claim victories in golf’s biggest
events.

The Englishman, who caddied for Lyle when he won the Open and the Masters, began his career lumping golf bags around as a 12-year-old for members at Hollinwell in Nottinghamshire. He became one of the most respected 
caddies in the game and was still held in high esteem long after he had retired.

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He helped Ballesteros win the Open for the first time at Royal Lytham in 1979 before being at Lyle’s side as the Scot claimed the same title at Royal St George’s six years later.

In 1988 Musgrove helped Lyle become Masters champion – the first Briton to achieve that feat – having also triumphed in the game’s so-called fifth major, the Players Championship, at Sawgrass the previous year.

“We wrote history together,” wrote Lyle on Twitter in his tribute to the man known as “Muzzy”. “We’ll miss your humour and stories.”

His description of Musgrove as a “gentleman” was shared in some of the other tributes, including one from Craig Connelly, the Glaswegian who has won two majors caddying for Martin Kaymer. He said: “A true gentleman who had time for everyone. We’ve lost one of the very best!”

Musgrove’s fourth major victory was achieved with 
Janzen as the American claimed the first of his two US Open title triumphs at the Olympic Club in San Francisco
in 1998.

Three years after that, he reunited with Lyle at Lytham in what was the caddie’s
40th consecutive Open 
Championship appearance.

Paul Lawrie described 
Musgrove as a “legend” in the caddying world while tributes were also paid by two other major winners, Darren Clarke and Ernie Els. “Always had time for everybody,” said Clarke, last year’s Ryder Cup captain while Els said Musgrove had “taught me a lot as a rookie”.

Andrew Coltart said Musgrove had been “so unbelievably down to earth despite all his achievements” and commented on how he’d been “quick witted with a tremendous sense of humour”.

As was evidenced on the final green in that 1979 Open at Royal Lytham. It’s reported that Ballesteros said he could take four putts and still win, but Musgrove responded, “no you can’t, I’ve a bet on you to finish under par”.