Beth Allen’s secret weapon – her caddie!

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Beth Allen will have her secret weapon on the bag at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Sophie Gustafson!

Beth Allen is a three-time Ladies European Tour winner and in 2016 became the first American to finish first on the LET’s Order of Merit. But she’s had a mediocre early 2017 season playing LPGA events. She has a plan to turn things around this week at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Allen, a Californian, isn’t exactly a household name among LPGA fans.  Allen turned pro in 2005, played briefly on the LPGA, but then found a more personally congenial professional home on the Ladies European Tour.

She’s played on the LET since 2009 and notched her first LET victory at the 2016 ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters.

Related Story: Beth Allen wins Ladies European Masters

Sophie Gustafson was on Allen’s bag at the Ladies European Masters. Sophie Gustafson? The Swedish golfer with 26 worldwide wins on her resume? Yes. That’s the one! The story of how that caddie-player partnership developed is fascinating in itself, but it’s a backstory to the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

More important is that Both Allen and Gustafson enjoyed their partnership that began in Buckinghamshire at the Ladies European Masters and they took it forward to Turnberry and the 2016 Ricoh British Women’s Open.

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And now they’re bringing their teamwork to Olympia Fields and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Beth Allen’s caddie is her not-so-secret weapon. Ten years ago Gustafson finished T6 at the Women’s PGA Championship and she has seven additional top-10s in LPGA/LET majors on her resume. She knows how to manage time and energy in the pressure cooker of a major championship.

How does it work, that synergetic player-caddie relationship, for Beth Allen and Sophie Gustafson?

Gustafson described the relationship dynamic she has with Allen this way to Ron Sirak:

"I’m very organized and a bit of a perfectionist, which I think works well with [Beth’s] personality. She can relax and just float while I make sure all we need on the course is taken care of. That perfectionist streak wasn’t as good for me when I was playing cause I was hard on both myself and my caddies. I also think we have a lot of fun on the course. We have similar humor and can laugh at both ourselves and others while we walk the fairways."

Allen, who’s currently ranked 82th by Rolex and is 91st on the Tour’s Official Money List needs two or three high finishes – a win would be nice too – to take off the pressure of 2018. Let’s see if an experienced and talented caddie can help her turn things around this week.

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Will the Allen-Gustafson partnership work as well as Mickelson-Bones or Spieth-Greller? We’ll be watching carefully as Beth Allen and Sophie Gustafson make their way around Olympia Fields this week.