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Matt Wallace and caddie Dave McNeilly have gone their separate ways,
with the Northern Irishman described the split as “part of the game”.
The pair called time on their successful but tempestuous partnership earlier this month.
They combined for four European Tour wins but their time together –
particularly latterly – was marred by controversy. In June, Wallace was
widely condemned for what some described as aggressive behaviour towards
67-year-old McNeilly after blowing a chance to win the BMW International Open in Munich.
However, speaking to BBC Northern Ireland, McNeilly, 67, refused to criticise his former employer.
“I’m not saying, ‘poor old me. I’ve been scapegoated’,” said McNeilly. “You have got to take responsibility for your part in it.
“The reason why I enjoyed working for Matt Wallace was because of
that fire. It’s a caddie’s dream to have a player who is going to give
you his all.”
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McNeilly’s reputation as a top caddie precedes him, having worked
with the likes of Sir Nick Faldo, Nick Pride and Padraig Harrington.
However, he accepts that he made some mistakes during his time on Wallace’s bag.
“This just isn’t all about Matt Wallace,” he added. “I have to be
able to learn the right words to say to him which are not going to fan
those flames and keep giving him messages which are going to keep him
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“And maybe an area where I wasn’t so good was that I didn’t set
boundaries down to Matt and say, ‘no, you’re not going to cross a line
in the sand’ [in terms of losing his temper]. I was more focused on
trying to make it work.”
McNeilly added that the pair parted on good terms after the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational earlier this month.
“There wasn’t a reason but if there was a reason it would have been
more like, he didn’t like the way he was behaving towards me on the golf
course,” he said.
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