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Caddies come to blows at Aussie Open

SYDNEY, Australia December 7 – Two caddies have come to blows at the Australian Open in an incident local media described as ‘Caddy Whack’, organisers said on Friday.

Tournament officials did not identify the warring parties, but reports named them as Grant Buchanan and Matt Kelly, the respective bagmen of Australians James Nitties and Marc Leishman.

The incident took place before Thursday’s opening round of the OneAsia co-sanctioned event at The Lakes course in Sydney.

“On Thursday a physical altercation took place between two caddies just prior to their groups taking to the golf course,” tournament director Andrew Langford-Jones said in a statement.

“PGA Tour of Australasia officials met the caddies and their respective players immediately after their round to clarify details of the altercation.

“Having spoken with those involved, there is still a need to speak with a number of other individuals who may be able to provide further information on the incident.”

The clash was reportedly sparked by an altercation between the men at a city casino on Tuesday night and tensions boiled over in front of other players and spectators on Thursday.

Leishman, who is the only Australian to win a USPGA tour event this year, later insisted that Nitties’ bagman was to blame.

“I don’t think me or Matty have got anything to worry about,” Leishman said Friday.

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“I was there and he (Kelly) didn’t do anything.

“He stood there, copped what he got and didn’t do anything apart from that. I was proud of him, to be honest.”

Langford-Jones said an inquiry was underway.

“To be fair to everyone concerned we need to let our inquiry go through the correct process in line with the PGA’s regulations, however we will endeavour to reach an outcome by the end of next week,” he said.

“The PGA Tour of Australasia and our members in no way condone this behaviour, and we are saddened the incident has drawn attention away from this great tournament.”

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