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Change of role for delighted Jonathan

US Masters champion Danny asks buddy to partner him rather than caddie for him at this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links.

In a welcome change from his usual role as Danny Willett’s caddie, Jonathan Smart will instead partner the reigning Masters champion in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links.

Last month, Willett sent his bagman a text telling him that he wouldn’t need his caddie bib this week, and should instead spend some time on the range in readiness for his competitive debut in the tournament.

The six-handicapper, who is known as ‘Smartie’, is relishing the chance to play at St Andrews for the first time, although he did confess to feeling nervous at the prospect of hitting his first tee shot this morning.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the message from Dan, I was so excited. I don’t really play much golf these days, so I’ve been on the range as much as I can these past few weeks.

“It’ll be different from usual tournaments, I’ll probably be so caught up in what I’m doing myself and trying to contribute rather than worrying about what he’s doing, so it might take some getting used to but I’m sure we’re going to have lots of fun.

“Carnoustie is the only course I’ve played before, Kingsbarns is also lovely but obviously the one I’m looking forward to playing most is St Andrews. If you could only play one course for the rest of your life, most people would choose this one.

“I’ll probably be very nervous on the first tee, but once I’ve got that over and done with, I’m sure I’ll love every minute of it.”

Smart is not the only caddie who has been relieved of his duties this week, as Louis Oosthuizen’s regular bagman, Wynand Stander, will partner the 2010 Open Champion for the first time.