Lothians caddie Gary Marshall tells how he convinced Mi Jung Hur she could win Scottish Open
Lothians caddie Gary Marshall told his friends that he didn’t fancy Mi Jung Hur to win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open because she didn’t like links courses.
But, saying the right things to her at the right times and using his local knowledge to good effect, he was delighted to turn the Korean into a links lover at The Renaissance Club on Sunday.
Marshall, who comes from Gorebridge, has been caddying for 16 years, starting out on the European Tour after a spell as a civil servant in Edinburgh.
He then switched to the ladies’ game, started to work for Hur last year and was praised by the 29-year-old in her press conference for his role in the East Lothian event last week as she claimed a third LPGA title triumph.
“That’s my first win as a professional,” said the 49-year-old. “I had won an Open qualifier before at Western Gailes in 2004 - a long time ago.
“It was a weird situation how I got started with MJ. I was working for Julie Molinaro on the LPGA. She got injured in Canada and MJ got rid of her caddie after the pro-am. So we got together on the Thursday and have been a team ever since.”
Hur admitted she’d been “mad” with herself after just three holes in the opening round before Marshall told her on the fourth tee, ‘come on, MJ, you can win this tournament’.
She went on to open with a 66 and, after he’d repeated that message on the same tee box in the final round following an early bogey, she matched that score in appalling conditions as she stormed to a four-shot success in the $1.5m event.
“It was unbelievable stuff,” said Marshall of her performance. “She played fantastic. It was tough conditions.
“I told all my friends actually that I hadn’t been hoping for much as she had already said she doesn’t like links courses.
“I said, ‘ah well, I’m at home at least’, but then she went out and played some unbelievable golf. It is nice that she acknowledged my role in her press conference. She’s a good boss. She looks after me and, after 16 years of caddying, it is nice to say, ‘hit it there’ and she does.
“I caddie around here on my weeks off. I have donned the white boilersuit a few times, though I hadn’t been here for eight months before last week.
“That helped 100 per cent. Normally in America you have to walk the courses to get to know them but here I know where to miss and the best places to miss.”
Marshall worked for the Scotland Office and Scottish Government in the Capital for ten years before moving to Manchester to take up a job with British Gas.
“After getting fed up with that, I got interested in caddying and I’ve been at it ever since,” he said. I had a year with Alastair Forsyth on the European Tour and also worked for Andrew Coltart, David Higgins, Philip Price, Thongchai Jaidee, Robert Coles.
“At the end of 2016, I was working for Matt Ford and he then lost his card. His manager asked if I wanted to work for Annabel Dimmock in Dubai.
“I went out there and thought I’d give the ladies’ game a go for a change. I worked for Holly Clyburn for a few months and I have enjoyed it. Sixteen years of travelling the world has taken its toll, but the LPGA is a good tour to work on. You have to work hard, though.”