World No. 4 golfer Ryu So Yeon: Ex-caddie had my bag and back
For world No. 4 golfer Ryu So Yeon, her former caddie Tom Watson carried more than just her bag.
The duo parted ways two weeks ago when Watson, 40, retired from caddying to settle down.
Ryu is in Singapore for the US$1.5m (S$2m) HSBC Women's World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club from today to Sunday.
The 27-year-old South Korean told The New Paper yesterday: "It definitely feels weird not to have him any more because we've become like brother and sister."
Watson, an Australian, was named after the American eight-time Major winner of the same name, because his father was a huge fan. He has had both Ryu's bag andback since 2012, and has been instrumental in her rise.
She added: "He's done a lot of things for me. He helped me enjoy this game and with a lot of things about my golf as well.
"He's the one who found my coach and I played better working with Cameron (McCormick). We've had a great journey together."
While she was used to having Watson as her bagman, Ryu also has faith in her new caddie Michael Paterson.
She said: "Both Tom and Michael are great caddies so I don't think it's really going to affect my game.
"I already feel comfortable with Mikey but it's going to be a little different like how we talk and stuff."
Paterson debuted as Ryu's caddie at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open where she came in tied-seventh a fortnight ago.
She credited the Scot, who was former world No. 1 Karrie Webb's caddie for 15 years, for enhancing her game.
Not surprisingly, Ryu, one of five golfers to hold the No. 1 spot last year, is eyeing glory at Sentosa's New Tanjong Course this week.
Lydia Ko, meanwhile, hopes to rediscover her form after last year's dismal showing. The Kiwi lost her No. 1 spot - which she had held for 104 weeks - and was winless in 26 starts.
The 20-year-old has a new coach Ted Oh and a new caddie Jonny Scott - her 11th bagman since November 2013.
- KIMBERLY KWEK