'Just Want Someone To Carry The Bag' - Women's PGA Challenger On 11th Caddie Of The Season

PGA Championship challenger Celine Borge is on her 11th different caddie in her rookie LPGA season, and didn't even use him on the greens

Celine Borge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

They say it’s a team game between player and caddie, but Celine Borge seems a solo performer, as she set the early clubhouse lead at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with her 11th different caddie on the bag this season.

The Norwegian, who ended the opening day in T6 at Baltusrol Golf Club, carried her own back throughout her Epson Tour last season as she qualified to make the step up to the LPGA.

And the 24-year-old did not then suddenly change tack and link-up with a permanent caddie, and instead simply uses a local looper at each event – giving a no-nonsense explanation as to her reasoning.

“Really just want someone to carry the bag,” Borge said. “And he's been good at that.”

It certainly worked for Borge in the first round at Baltusrol as she carded a two-under round of 69 on the iconic Lower Course to sit right in touch with the leaders.

And her single-minded approach meant she didn’t even use the local knowledge of caddie Corey Birch on Baltusrol’s large and undulating putting surfaces.

“I got him from the club, so it's been very nice,” she added. “I didn't use him on the greens.”

Players almost always thank their caddies after big wins, with their faithful loopers not just helping with club selection and yardages, but also at times acting as motivators and even therapists depending on how things are going on the course.

For now, though, Borge is struggling with that notion, saying that having someone on the bag is proving to be one of the most difficult transitions as a LPGA rookie.

“It's to have a caddie for me,” Borge cited as the toughest part of her debut LPGA season. “I'm not used to having a caddie. I just try to do what I've always been doing, just play my own game and just someone to carry the bag.” 

Borge may be wise to try and use 27-year-old caddie Birch a bit more over the next three days, given he grew up less than half an hour away from Baltusrol and has worked at the course for a decade.

Birch says he does about 10 rounds a week as a caddie over the two courses at Baltusrol, and could yet come in useful if Borge settles into having someone on her bag.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.