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AIG Women’s Open: Paul Drummond’s local knowledge helps Lexi Thompson to be just two off the lead

Lexi Thompson and her caddie Paul Drummond cross the Barry Burn at Carnoustie.
Lexi Thompson and her caddie Paul Drummond cross the Barry Burn at Carnoustie.

Paul Drummond was on stand-by to cover if anyone in the AIG Women’s Open field needed a caddie at the last minute, but he didn’t expect it to be one of the highest-profile players in the game.

The USA’s golden girl of golf Lexi Thompson arrived at Carnoustie caddie-less and the 31-year-old local car dealer – a plus two handicapper and a caddie at the links on the side – found himself on the bag of a major champion.

They’ve done pretty well as a partnership so far with rounds of 69 and 70 placing Thompson just two off the lead.

‘I never expected it to be Lexi’

“I was ready to get a bag if I was needed. But I certainly never expected it to be Lexi Thompson,” he said. “The caddiemaster at Carnoustie recommended me when she arrived looking for a caddie and put them in touch.

“She’s pretty good fun. I’m a fairly decent player myself, but really I’m just reading greens and yardages. Obviously if you’ve played here often enough you get to know the greens like the back of your hand.”

There was one big decision right at the end of the second round, when Thompson pulled her drive into the rough up the left at the 18th.

“It was just a case of deciding whether it was worth taking on the burn and we decided it was. She just committed to the shot and it worked out pretty well.”

Not the first time this has happened

Lexi (r) with her former caddie, Scot Kevin McAlpine, at the Solheim Cup in 2017.

It’s not even a new thing for Lexi to come to this major championship looking for a bagman.

In 2017 at Kingbarns Lexi hired former Scottish Amateur champion Kevin McAlpine as caddie at the last minute. He ended up doing the job for a couple of years.

Kevin met his wife-to-be, Solheim Cup star Anna Nordqvist, while working for Thompson. The son of Dundee United legend Hamish now loops for fellow Scot Martin Laird on the PGA Tour, so that all worked out pretty well.

“I certainly know of Kevin, but there is no plan here,” laughed the 31-year-old. “I have a business here in Carnoustie and do a little caddying on the side. We’ll see how it goes.

“If we keep on doing what we’re doing then we should have a good weekend.”

No translation required

Lexi Thompson and caddie Paul Drummond in practice.

Having had a Scot on the bag before, Thompson doesn’t need any translation.

“I think Paul’s talking a little slower for me,” she said. “I can understand him pretty well. He knows this golf course like the back of his hand, and I fully trust him.”

Thompson’s previous caddie had to drop out in the 40 degree heat in Tokyo at the Olympics, hence she needed a new one.

“Other than that time at Kingsbarns with Kevin, I’ve never had to do this before, but it’s been great,” she said.

“Paul’s been spot on,” she said. “All of my shots have been very important with his advice. He tells me how it’s going to bounce in front of the green, how it’s going to roll up and where I should land it.

“I’m fully trusting him on his numbers and whether to hit it left or right of the pin.

“The only thing we’ve done is we’ve got him some Puma shirts. He’s got to wear Puma if he’s on my side.”

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