Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images Carlos Tevez during Sunday's final round at Royal Lytham.
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R&A chief says he's okay with Tevez caddying for Romero at the Open

But other members of the Royal and Ancient described the Man City player’s role as ‘absolute madness’.

ROYAL AND ANCIENT chief executive Peter Dawson has surprisingly endorsed Andres Romero’s unorthodox British Open caddy Carlos Tevez.

Out of contention after three rounds of the tournament at Royal Lytham and St Annes, Romero allowed his friend and fellow Argentine, Manchester City striker Tevez, to carry the bag in Sunday’s final round.

Tevez, a keen golfer who reportedly spent five months honing his skills during a self-imposed exile from his club last season, proved less than adept assisting Romero with yardage.

The 2008 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, who was third at the 2007 Open, carded a 12-over-par 82, including three triple bogeys, to finish 18 over for the tournament, and claim last place among the players who made the half-way cut.

The R&A, noted for closely guarding golf’s heritage and traditions, might have been expected to disapprove of the professional footballer’s involvement in their showcase event. But chief executive Dawson, perhaps taking into account the large galleries who followed the two South Americans, demonstrated his forward-thinking approach to the situation.

“It’s not for me to say anything about players’ choice of caddie as long as they behave in the best traditions of the championship and within the rules,” Dawson said. ”For all I know Mr Tevez may be a very experienced caddie. I’ve got no information as to his background.

“But whether it’s the player’s fault or the caddie’s fault that the score was so high, I couldn’t possibly comment,” Dawson joked. ”It was pretty interesting, I thought, because of the big crowd following the group, that golf fans and football fans may overlap a little more than I had realised. It’s not a bad thing, perhaps.”

While Dawson was happy enough to see Tevez assisting Romero, R&A championship committee chairman Jim McArthur took a more predictable view, raising the prospect of an investigation into Romero’s unorthodox appointment.

“I think we may need to look at this particular case,” McArthur said. ”The strange thing for me was he never put the bag down so when he was standing on the green he was carrying the bag all over the place. It’s just absolute madness.

“Maybe it’s something we need to just have a look at. We do normally get a list of caddies at the beginning of the week and we take that into account.”

South African veteran Ernie Els captured the famous Claret Jug by a single shot from Australian Adam Scott, who bogeyed his last four holes to surrender a healthy lead.  Unsurprisingly, neither man chose a footballer to caddy for them.

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