Unsung Hero Caddie Col Swatton Guides Jason Day To Career Pinnacle
Caddie Col Swatton should be a proud man after seeing Jason Day win the PGA Champioship at Whistling Straits. He has been coach, mentor and all round father figure after Day’s father sadly died when he was a young boy.
After steering him away from what could have been a disastrous life path, Swatton then guided Jason to become one of the best young golfers on the circuit today. Winning the PGA Championship was just reward for both of them for the hundreds or probably thousands of hours spent on the golf course honing the skills that were to make Day the player he is today.
Whilst no father could ever be truly replaced, however Swatton’s role in Day’s life is a close as anyone could come to be a father. At the end of a historical day for Jason, it was fitting that his caddie Col Swatton was right there to celebrate a memorable victory.
HAVEN, Wis. — Right beside Jason Day and his family as the golfer awaited the Wananaker Trophy was his caddie Col Swatton. Any distinction between immediate family can be dismissed when it comes to Day and his longtime mentor. When you talk about true impact on Day’s life, Swatton’s influence can’t be overstated.
Swatton has been there since Day was a teenager. When Day’s father died of cancer, Swatton was there. When Day needed guidance in his life as a mischievous teenager drinking at age 12, Swatton was there. For all the hours that Swatton has spent next to Day as he hit golf balls — thousands, easily, from his days as Day’s instructor at the Hills International Academy in Queensland, Australia, to the hundreds of PGA Tour events they’ve partnered up for — Swatton was right there.
And so he was Sunday at Whistling Straits.
That’s why the emotions streamed out of Day as he talked about Swatton after his major breakthrough at Whistling Straits. Their relationship goes beyond replacing divots and raking bunkers. It’s one of the most unique on the PGA Tour. Swatton’s presence in Day’s life was a big reason he ended up with the Wanamaker Trophy.
“On the 18th, all I said was, ‘I love you,'” Swatton said after the round. “And he loves me, and we were just a blubbering mess. It was pretty cool.”
“We’re approaching having another big three in golf”
This was the moment Day and Swatton have worked so hard to achieve. Shooting the only 20-under score in major championship history, after not having converted on two previous 54-hole leads in 2015, seems like poetic justice. Day figured it out, just as he did as a teenager — with Swatton still by his side.
For the full story by Stephen Hennessey for the Golf Digest
Jason Day-PGA Championship Winner