Coming off a dominant 2018 season, Ariya Jutanugarn will kick off the 2019 LPGA Tour season with a new caddie.
Jutanguarn is changing loopers, ending her relationship with Les Luark, who has been on the bag for eight of her 10 LPGA wins, including last year's US Women's Open victory. Jutanugarn enjoyed an unprecedented sweep of the LPGA's highest honors in 2018, winning the Race to the CME Globe, the money list, the Vare Trophy for scoring average, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Annika major performance award and the tour's new prize for top-10 finishes.
So, who is replacing Luark? David Taylor is Jutanugarn's new caddie, according to LPGA.com, leaving the bag of 2018 ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg for the gig.
It also just so happens Taylor is Lindberg's fiancé. The pair began dating in 2012 before starting a professional relationship that has gone on and off over the years. For 2018, the couple worked together again, and Lindberg won her first LPGA title that just happened to be a major. The whole thing has Lindberg's blessing, according to Golf Channel, saying the stress of being player and caddie as well a couple wasn't healthy at the end of the year.
“Through the hard times, it’s tough,” Lindberg said to Golf Channel. "The player and caddie connection is stressful and emotional, and you add extra emotion being a couple. At the end of last season, we felt it was best for our relationship to have a little break again.”
For her part, Lindberg is hiring Irish veteran caddie, and Taylor's close friend, Roy Clarke as her new caddie.
Of course, as most things in the player-caddie world, this change is probably temporary. And, if it is, then there's always a chance Lindberg and Taylor could reunite as player and caddie...and wife and husband.