Matt Wallace promises to do better after caddie abuse controversy
Matt Wallace has vowed to improve his behaviour after receiving plenty of flak for his treatment of caddie Dave McNeilly at the recent BMW International Open.
The 29-year-old Race to Dubai leader drew the ire of golf fans everywhere after berating his caddie on more than one occasion during the final round of the European Tour event in Germany a couple of weeks ago.
I cannot stand Matt Wallace… absolute grade A bellend!! Caddies fault he hooked a drive on 18 into the water!
— Lewis Hendry (@Lewyhendry4) June 23, 2019
Matt Wallace wants a fucking good hiding. I don’t care who they are, if he spoke to me like that he’d be carrying his own bag at best. If not tasting a 7 iron. #prick
— Lee Cosgrove (@lcozza27) June 23, 2019
Why is matt Wallace having a go at his caddie. Again caddies not being respected. Disgusting
— mylo (@MylesFrost) June 23, 2019
It wasn’t the first time Wallace had rubbed fans the wrong way with his on-course behaviour, after also being forced to apologise for his “petulance” during the final round of the British Masters at Hillside, and drawing criticism from Sky Sports commentator Rich Beem during the US Open at Pebble Beach.
While Wallace ignored the social media furore that broke out immediately after the latest incident, he finally broke his silence at the Irish Open last week, vowing to do better going forward.
“I spoke to Dave straight away after we finished on 18 and we spoke about the situation,” Wallace told the Irish Independent.
“I said let’s not let this affect us going forward because he wasn’t happy with how he performed as well, so I said let’s move on from this, are we good? And he was, like, absolutely. So we hugged it out and moved on.
“The two times I’ve been in with a chance to win tournaments I’ve reverted back to how I used to win tournaments and that was to be intense, pretty much too much over the top.
“I used to do that on my own whereas now I’ve got a caddie and stupidly I’ve probably blamed him where I need to take full responsibility for what I did there – and I know that. It’s something I am working on.”
He added: “I’m not proud of how I dealt with that situation and I have definitely addressed it and moved on. Just because I haven’t said anything on social media doesn’t mean I haven’t addressed it with my team.
“A lot of the bad stuff I’ve done on TV has been all reactive. On the 15th (in Munich) I thought I’d hit a good shot and it went long, then I reacted straight away by throwing the club on the ground and you just can’t do that when you’re in the limelight and people are watching you and you want to set an example.
“I’ve thrown clubs in the past and no-one has picked up on it and it’s just because I’m number one on the Race to Dubai and 24th in the world that people see it a bit more.”
Wallace also revealed that he received a talking-to from his parents for the way he behaved in Germany.
“They said there’s a few people out there that don’t like seeing you talk to Dave in the way that you did and I’d be the first to say sorry to Dave,” he said.
“I actually haven’t seen it but I’ve spoken with Dave and my team and Keith Pelley as well. I’ve actually seen him a few times over the last year or two talking about my future and this time it was more about controlling my emotions, what do I want to be perceived as on the European Tour?
“I want to be an ambassador, so having this bad news about how I reacted is not how I want to be perceived.”
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