Golf: Waite to quit working for Campbell

Michael Campbell's regular caddie for the last decade is quitting the 2005 US Open golf champion's bag at the end of this year.

Michael Waite, originally from Taranaki but now living on Queensland's Gold Coast, will join up with either Korea's KJ Choi, ranked No 16 in the world, or Australian Robert Allenby in a job sharing capacity next year.

"The chance to work for a top-20 player doesn't come along very often," Waite said today.

"KJ's regular man Andy Prodger approached me at the Tour Championship where I was working with Allenby and wanted to know if I could share the bag.

"And I've worked with Allenby quite a bit over the years anyway.

"I joined up with him in the States again recently when he nearly won the Turning Stone Championship in New York and his normal caddie Colin Burwood wants to job share as well, so to have a couple of really top players wanting you is a great opportunity."

Waite can arguably claim to be the second most successful New Zealand-produced caddie after Steve Williams, the bagman for world No 1 Tiger Woods.

On the world's golf tours since the 1980s, Waite had success with, among others, Allenby, Ian Baker-Finch and Rodger Davis.

He was with Campbell fulltime for eight years, including the famous major championship in 2005 but has shared the bag during 2007 and 2008.

Campbell employed seasoned English caddie Peter Coleman for the bulk of his time on the European Tour this year.

Waite stuck with the mercurial New Zealander during good times and bad and will be back with Campbell for his end-of-year three tournament swing in Hong Kong and Australia, starting next month.

And if Campbell plays in Australia and New Zealand early in 2009, including the New Zealand Open in Queenstown, Waite may briefly work for him again.

But the father-of-three wants to cut back on his travelling and said his ideal schedule was to work for about 20 weeks a year.

Most top players start about 30 tournaments a year so Waite is hopeful a couple of part-time bags will fulfil that commitment.

For the rest of the time he wants to concentrate on a business venture, making and selling bar stools from discarded golf bags.