Mental health toll leads to caddy McLaren calling it a day

He’s one of the most recognisable faces (and legs) in the game and, soon, John McLaren will hang up his caddy bib and call it a day.

McLaren has worked alongside Paul Casey in recent years, previously he most notably caddied for Luke Donald, but he has now decided that enough is enough. The likeable 55-year-old has now caddied his last tournament on the PGA Tour and he will be in Dubai with Casey at the season ender and at the start of 2020 and that will be that.

“The accumulation of the last 18 months of travel, the testing, the uncertainty has taken its toll, not only on me, but how I am at home with my family,” he told the PGA Tour website. “And once that starts to have an impact on my young children and my wife, whom I very much love, then the questions start to arise about the sacrifices relative to what needs to be gained.

“Each weekend I'd be sitting basically with my fingers crossed, hoping that I was going to test negative so that I could get home. And then the flip of that, obviously when I got home, I'd have to do more tests and isolating at home, etc., while planning to come back to work for Paul, thinking, well now I hope I don't test positive with my family and children because then that's then going to make Paul's life not as comfortable and easy because he's not certain his caddy is going to make it back.

“The issue in the end is you start to recognise some minor changes in your own personality that you aren’t fully aware of why they're there. I knew I felt different, and it was more about taking command of that situation rather than being a victim of it all.”

McLaren, who is better known as ‘Johnny Long Socks’ due to his colourful sock wear, is a popular figure in the game and Casey will be wishing him a very find and grateful farewell.

“This is a genuine moment where you've got two guys who are really good friends and one guy going, ‘I need to take a break,’ and the other guy going, ‘OK, I fully support that,’” Casey added. “In this current environment we're in, it just doesn't seem to happen. And nobody seems to speak about it, either.”