Popular Caddie Killed by Car

By Associated PressJanuary 23, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 Buick InvitationalSAN DIEGO -- Steve Duplantis, a popular PGA TOUR caddie known for bringing out the best in his players, was killed early Wednesday when he was struck by a taxi while crossing a street.
 
Duplantis was in Del Mar when he stepped off a center median and into the path of a taxi, said Sgt. Randy Webb of the San Diego Sheriff's Department. The 35-year-old Duplantis was pronounced dead on the scene.
 
He was working at the Buick Invitational for Eric Axley.
 
Axley was visibly shaken when he arrived at Torrey Pines and asked for a few days before he commented.
 
Duplantis was a free spirit after hours who was regarded as among the best caddies inside the ropes. Jim Furyk won four times early in his career with Duplantis on the bag. The caddie also steered Rich Beem to his first PGA TOUR victory in the 1999 Kemper Open, and he was with Tommy Armour III when he set the PGA Tour's 72-hole scoring record at the Texas Open in 2003.
 
Among the nicknames caddies gave Duplantis was 'Asbestos,' because he was thought to be fireproof. Even though he often showed up late for work after a night on the town, his value as a caddie was too much for players to replace him.
 
'He was one of the better caddies,' Armour said. 'That's why he kept getting hired. He was very confident with what he said.'
 
Armour, however, feared Duplantis' nightlife would land him in trouble.
 
'Am I shocked by this? No,' Armour said. 'I tried several times to get him some help. And I told him in 2003, 'Bud, if you don't change, you're going to die a tragic death.'
 
Duplantis and his nightlife exploits were prominently featured in a book titled, 'Bud, Sweat and Tees,' a story primarily about Beem.
 
Beem and Duplantis were together only about six months, the first time at the 1999 Kemper Open, Beem's first TOUR victory.
 
Beem, who later won the PGA Championship at Hazeltine, was informed of his death during the pro-am.
 
'He was the first person who showed me the value of a good caddie, which I now have,' Beem said. 'You felt comfortable with him on the bag because he knew what to say. He was confident.'
 
Beem mostly remembered how Duplantis looked after his daughter, Sierra, who turned 12 this month. His marriage ended quickly, and at one point Duplantis was a single parent trying to keep his job as a caddie. He worked with Furyk for four years until he was fired for showing up late one time too many.
 
'He always lit up when talking about Sierra,' Beem said. 'He always had current pictures of her in his wallet. For a lot of years, he was the only parent in her life. Yes, he liked to party. But that part of his life gets lost.'
 
The mood was somber on the putting green, where some caddies were waiting on their players.
 
'He was a throwback,' caddie Patrick Smith said. 'He raised the level of every player he worked for. He could take guys who were marginal and they would play well.'
 
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.