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From Coach to Caddie...

Despite caddying one of his England Women charges to the premier title in the world of ladies’ amateur golf – at Augusta National no less – Yorkshire Men’s coach Steve Robinson has no plans for a career change.

“I said to Lottie [Woad] ‘what have you got in here, it weighs a ton?’!” He did take time out to send Matt Fitzpatrick’s renowned caddie Billy Foster a message however, saying the job was a bit of a doddle.

Reflecting on a win that lifted her to no. 2 in the world rankings, and earned entry into all the 2024 Women’s Majors, Robinson said: “She did great, didn’t she? Sleeping on a two-day lead is a bit different" – especially when the final round is at the home of The Masters – “and though I hadn’t caddied for her before, we’d been to a couple of European Team finals.

“I help people set up their game plans, and with no lasers being allowed at Augusta, it helped that I’m a bit of an old school numbers bloke, so it made sense.”

20-year-old Woad, from Farnham in Surrey, led the field after 36-holes of qualifying on the Champions Retreat course, before moving for the climax across to Augusta National.

She had been overtaken by American Bailey Shoemaker, whose tournament record of -6 put her in pole position and after bogeying 13, Woad was two shots off the lead.

“We had a bit of a chat,” added the Sandburn Hall-based Robinson, a four-time England Golf Coach of the Year. “Lottie was on the clock and that was flustering her a bit. But we’d spoken about that on the Friday night – someone coming out of the pack to overtake her. I’d done the pins on the Saturday morning and they were really accessible. It didn’t mean you birdied them all, but there were chances.”

As for nerves coming down the stretch? “It was massive, but it was funny, we weren’t nervous at all. We’ve been to six European finals and won four – you can’t get more nervous than nervous! Lottie was really calm and knew she had a job to do.”

Woad’s putter was on fire as she birdied three of the last four holes, hitting the middle of the fairway on 18, then sinking a double-breaking putt to lift the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.

It wasn’t all sweetness and light however. Robinson, who has a week booked in Florida working with Sheffield United fan Matt Fitzpatrick, laughs: “Lottie’s a Leeds United fan. Her dad’s from Yorkshire, so the first thing we did was rush to check if Leeds had beaten Coventry. They’d lost. That was a bit of a downer for us, really.”

Still, Robinson has more than just winning memories to take away from Augusta. “I first watched the Masters aged 11 and it’s taken me 48 years to get there.

“They took the famous white overalls off you afterwards – but they said they’ll wash and press them, then send them to me!”

Some memento!

The win earned Woad golfer entry into all the women’s 2024 Majors and first up was the Chevron Championship at Carlton Woods, Texas. While the tournament was a record-equalling 5th consecutive win for Nelly Korda, Woad showed she has what it takes to mix it at the top level with a solid -1 total to finish in a tie for 23rd alongside English compatriots Charley Hull and Georgia Hall.

Had she declared herself professional, Woad would have brought home $71,000.

Coach Robinson thinks it will be interesting to see how the second year student at Florida State fares in the rest of the Majors – the US Open, USPGA, Evian Championship and The Open.

“I think Lottie will see how she performs in those events and then maybe have a discussion about the future.”


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