Darren Clarke must regain his putting touch if he’s to end his wobbly run of form and charge back up the world rankings.
That’s the frank view of new bagman Phil “Wobbly” Morbey, who helped Ian Woosnam win the Masters and become world No 1.
Clarke and “Wobbly” joined forces for the first time in Spain last week but missed the cut by five shots after a disastrous putting show.
But the plain-talking Yorkshire caddie - nicknamed Wobbly because of his unusual walk - reckons that it’s only a matter of time before the Dungannon giant starts holing his share and making big strides again.
Morbey said: “Darren’s obviously had a lot of grief over the past few years with Heather passing way, but time moves on.
“He’s always been a great driver of the ball and it’s a massive strength of his. He just isn’t putting well at the minute but he’s working hard on it and when that comes right he’ll be up there.”
Clarke, who is 40 in August, spent yesterday afternoon working on his putting in preparation for this week’s Estoril Open de Portugal at Oitavos Dunes.
But he knows that he will have to start sinking putts soon if he is to haul himself up from 240th in the world and 59th in the Ryder Cup rankings.
Reflecting on last week, Clarke said: “You can’t have 66 putts in two rounds and expect to contend so at least I know which area has to improve.
“It wasn’t the best start for my new caddie, who did very well on his debut. Unfortunately his new player didn’t, but I’m sure we’ll be okay.”
Morbey, 44, has caddied for a string of stars in a 27-year career and racked up over 40 wins, most of them with long-time boss Woosnam.
Morbey said: “I was with Woosie from 1987 to 2001 and then had a great spell with Jose Maria Olazabal over six years.
“I was with Thomas Bjorn until February but when the call came from Darren, it was just perfect for me.
“Darren wants this to be a long and fruitful relationship and I am sure it can be.
“He’s a good guy and he’s working hard. And he’s a great laugh as well, which is really important.
“I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of great bosses, especially Woosie and Jose was just a complete gentleman. I’m sure it will be the same with Darren.”