New caddie Taylor to partner Ariya at season-opener

Ariya Jutanugarn (left) split with former caddie Les Luark, who was her bagman since 2015.
Ariya Jutanugarn (left) split with former caddie Les Luark, who was her bagman since 2015.

MIAMI • World No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand will begin the 2019 LPGA campaign in two weeks with new caddie Daniel Taylor, after a split with former bagman Les Luark.

Ariya's team confirmed to the LPGA, according to a tour website posting, that she has made the change ahead of the season-opening Tournament of Champions on Jan 17-20 at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Ariya's team-up with Englishman Taylor is on a trial basis.

Luark had caddied off and on for Ariya since she joined the LPGA in 2015, including a record-smashing 2018 campaign in which the 23-year-old Thai star won three times - including last June's US Women's Open - and completed an unprecedented sweep of the tour's major season-ending awards.

Taylor has previously caddied for several LPGA players, including South Koreans Pak Se-ri and Jenny Shin, Germany's Sandra Gal and most recently for his fiancee, Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg.

The couple are set to wed at the end of the month in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Lindberg said that the reason for their split on the golf course was because it was "tough sometimes" for a couple to be a caddie and a player.

She won her first LPGA title at last year's first Major tournament, the ANA Inspiration, and will begin her season with Irishman Roy Clarke as her caddie.

Ariya and her sister Moriya will also feature at the HSBC Women's World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.

The duo's participation at the Feb 28-March 3 tournament was announced in November, alongside that of American sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2019, with the headline 'New caddie Taylor to partner Ariya at season-opener'. Print Edition | Subscribe