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PGA Tour caddie Todd Montoya has revealed he is gay. Montoya made the revelation on the Golf Channel, and is believed to be the first openly gay caddie on the Tour.
In an emotional interview, the New Mexican, who caddies for Brian Stuard, explained his decision to come out to reporter Kira K Dixon: “Something that you kept secret for so many years amongst people that you consider your friends and your co-workers - over the course of time, you grow close to them and until people that I care about know that I’m gay, they really don’t know me for my entirety.”
Montoya has almost 20 years of caddying experience, predominantly on mini-tours. However, since 2016 he has caddied for Stuard on the PGA Tour, and said he has the 39-tear-old American to thank for his support, saying: "I feel 100% different. I feel like I'm walking on air. Brian has given me the greatest gift that I could ever get. I feel like he's given me my freedom."
Montoya explained that he told Doug LaBelle II, who he used to caddie for, the news in 2006, and his reaction gave him confidence: "I called him up and said, 'Hey, Dougie, there's something really important I want to tell you,' and I said, 'I'm gay'. He paused and he said, 'it doesn't make any difference whatsoever'. When someone that is important to you accepts you for who you are, it's a big deal."
Nevertheless, Montoya was reluctant to go more public about his sexuality for fear that if could affect his job prospects: "I think that it was mostly because that was my preconceived notion about the society of people that probably encompass the golf community. I just felt like I would have a better opportunity to get and keep a job if I kept it hidden.”
Montoya caddied for Stuard for four years before opening up to him about his sexuality, but the reaction he received was every bit as supportive as LaBelle’s. Stuard said: "He told me that he'd been living with it for a number of years and it would be tough thing to have to feel like you couldn't tell anybody. I just wanted to make sure that he knew that it didn't change the way I felt about him, he's always been the same Todd to me."
Montoya added: "I went out for dinner that evening and a text came through from Brian that said: 'I just wanted to say thanks for another successful year and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that you told me and that I feel very grateful that you consider me close enough for you to open up. Don't think for one second that it makes me think any differently of you and the person you are.'"
Although Montoya is believed to be the first openly gay caddie on the PGA Tour, his news follows professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa, who also opened up about his sexuality in 2018. Montoya hopes he can inspire others who may be struggling with their sexuality to take a similar step: "My hope is that they can see someone who has taken that step and found in their life that it is okay to be yourself and be out."
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. 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.
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