An honest mistake from Lexi Thompson ended up with roughly 38 players missing the first day of practice at the Women's British Open on Monday, according to Golf Channel report
Some of the World's best female golfers were travelling from the Evian Championship to the Women's British Open at Woburn - but over a quarter of the field ended up having to miss a day of practice on the course when they arrived on Monday without their golf bags.
The fault lay with Lexi Thompson, who last week sounded off about the course conditions after her missed cut at the Evian, as she realised she had accidentally mislaid her passport in her golf bag. The problem? Her bag was on a truck with bags belonging to roughly 38 players that was being driven from France to England by Seve Ballesteros' former caddie Ian Wright.
“[Lexi Thompson] left her passport in one of the golf bags that were on the truck I was driving here,” Wright told Golf Channel's Randall Mell . “I had to stop and wait for her caddie to come and retrieve it.
“I think I might have screamed. I had to drive through the night to get here.”
Wright received the distress call and had to stop for Thompson's caddie to come and get it (which involved also a big reorganisation of the tightly packed golf bags), causing him to be delayed by three hours.
“That van was packed to the hilt," said Wright. "A mouse couldn’t have found room to live in there."
The knock-on effect was a missed ferry and a lot of traffic, meaning he wasn't able to get the golf bags to Woburn until 5pm on Monday - six hours after his expected time. For the players, it meant a day of missed practice on the course, although they were allowed to use the range until 7pm.
Thompson's agent told the Golf Channel it was an honest mistake.
"She had no idea retrieving it would cause the delay it did, or that it would impact other players the way it did," said agent Bobby Kreusle. "She would never have wanted that.”
And while players like Stacy Lewis were understanding, it was the second week in a row where Ryann O'Toole suffered has issues with her bag, and she shared her displeasure and frustration with Golf Channel at another missed day of major practice.
Last week she arrived to the Evian on Sunday, but the airline lost her bag until the Tuesday, and were unhelpful at best when she reached out on twitter.
“They asked me if I could just use a set of rental clubs,” O’Toole said. “I told them that’s like asking a NASCAR driver to race in a rental car.”
And while Wright said he didn't want to let anyone down, O'Toole was of the opinion that he shouldn't have prioritised Thompson in that situation.
“I don’t know why the driver would agree to accommodate one person knowing it would punish about a third of the field,” O’Toole said. “The driver should have said, 'Hey, I’ve got to get these clubs to Woburn. If you want the passport, somebody’s going to have to fly there to get it and bring it back.’”