Caddie Takes Week Off At LIV Golf Houston To Attend 80th D-Day Anniversary

Paul Casey’s veteran caddie John McLaren has been in France to pay his respects on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings

Paul Casey speaks to his caddie during LIV Golf Miami
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul Casey is firmly in contention for a maiden LIV Golf victory at its Houston event, and was tied for the lead at 10-under heading into the third and final round. 

However, he has worked himself into the position not with his usual caddie, veteran John McLaren on the bag, but his wife Pollyanna Woodward alongside him. 

That’s because McLaren instead opted to travel to France to pay his respects on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Casey spoke to the media after his five-under second round left him tied with Adrian Meronk, Carlos Ortiz and David Puig at the top of the leaderboard at the Golf Club of Houston.

First, he explained a win this week would be his first with his wife alongside him. “I've never won with Polly on the bag," he revealed. "Polly has only been on the bag once before. That was in Saudi. We finished fifth, I believe, Saudi Invitational.”

Paul Casey and Pollyanna Woodward pose for a photograph at the 2018 Ryder Cup

Casey's wife, Pollyanna, had only caddied for him once before LIV Golf Houston

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Casey then detailed why McLaren’s trip to France is so important to his regular bagman. “Johnny is kind, he explained. “We know Johnny has got his health problems, but Johnny planned many, many, many months ago, he wanted to go to France to pay his respects for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, so he sent me some amazing photos.

“He's been down there wearing his kilt and his McLaren tartan. He's very, very proud to be British, so I think it's been amazing to pay respects for those commemorations. It's quite a thing.”

John McLaren at LIV Golf Mayakoba

McLaren during LIV Golf Mayakoba

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Casey also said he's proud of McLaren’s decision to take time away from his regular duties to attend. “We're very lucky to do what we do,” he explained. “We're very lucky to live in the countries we live in.

“This year he wanted to go down being maybe one of the last times that those who fought and were on those beaches are still alive now because it's 80 years on. That couldn't be cooler. I'm proud that he went, and he's happy that he went.”

The Englishman also referenced another day of remembrance and explained how a particular line from one of the speeches inspired him - and that he's keeping it in mind on the course this week.

Paul Casey at LIV Golf Adelaide

Casey is in contention for a maiden LIV Golf title in Houston

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He said: “We play golf for a living, and there's much more serious things than what we do, and I thought what was a great moment at the ANZAC - what would you call it, not celebration, but the ANZAC day, there were some speeches made, and there's a line that stuck with me, and I don't know the exact words, but it's something along the lines of you need to live a full life, and that's the best way to pay respects to those that have given their lives.

“So that's what we're doing out here right now. I'll play my heart out tomorrow because why wouldn't I? That's what Johnny would want, as well. I'm trying to get a win for Johnny, who's not here.”

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.