Talk about drama! — apparently Jessica Korda and her now-former caddie, Jason Gilroyed, had irreconcilable differences because after her front nine in the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open, she fired him and replaced him with her boyfriend Johnny DelPrete, according to a tweet from Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.
It’s still unclear what Kilroyed did that was so offensive it warranted a firing. She’s currently six-over through 13 holes. You know, besides “allowing” the 20-year-old Korda to shoot five-over 40. We will definitely be speaking to her after she’s signed her scorecard, so stay tuned. And we’ll be making efforts to track down Gilroyed.
This whole situation is a bit awkward, especially since her entire family is out there cheering on Jessica and her younger sister, Nelly, 14, who is also competing at Sebonack this week. The Kordas’ former pro tennis player dad, Peter, is caddying for Nelly.
I’ve only heard good things about Jessica and I’m sure she’s usually a lovely girl, but firing your caddie mid-round is considered conduct unbecoming a professional.
*Update, 6:30pm: Okay, I’m willing to give Jessica the benefit of the doubt this time. After battling back on the second nine, where she fired one-under, to shoot 76, she stepped up to the podium and opened with, “So how long is it going to take you guys to ask me about the caddie?”
Well…since you mention it…
“We had a couple of disagreements here and there, and I just wasn’t in the right state of mind,” said Korda, who is tied for 6th going into the final round. “It was going not my way and I knew I needed a switch and have a little more fun out there — it’s a U.S. Open and it’s tough out there, and it just wasn’t working out…
“It’s just the way it played out that I did it after the ninth hole.”
Asked how hard it was for her to mentally adjust after the switch, she said, “First three holes I was very shaky, but my boyfriend/caddie kept me very calm out there and kept it very light. It was kind of funny seeing him stumble over yardages.”
The move was uncharacteristic for Korda, who isn’t taking it lightly by any means.
“It was very tough for me because I care about Jason a lot,” said Jessica. “He’s a great guy. Things just unfold and it’s how it happens sometimes in life. It was very hard for me to do. I’m not the kind of person to take these things easily. For me, it was very hard for me to tell him that. It took a lot for me.”
Korda said DelPrete, who played college golf at Ole Miss/Louisville and competed in six Web.com Tour events last season, would be on her bag again tomorrow, and as for Jason, she’s not sure what will happen following this week. This was the first time her boyfriend has caddied for her.
“I’ve always said that I don’t want him to caddie for me,” said Korda.
**Update 2, 8:27pm: I was able to track down Gilroyed’s number and I tried calling and left him a message. We’ll see if he gets back to me!