Kann On Bag More Than Just Fluff

By Brian HewittNovember 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
Kraig Kann, a friend and colleague, was a caddie this week. And his presence on Jay Williamsons bag at Disney spawned debates, cheap shots, bad jokes, curiosity and even a little controversy from all kinds of golf precincts.
They didnt make the cut. The par 5s killed their chances (Williamson was 4-over on the first six par 5s he played). And its over now.
So lets all take a deep breath. And chill.
Because, as somebody once malapropped, This is not rocket surgery.
It was a golf broadcaster taking a stab at caddying for a week on the PGA TOUR. And as Kann has pointed out in his posts on this web site, the idea for him to carry Williamsons bag was just as much Williamsons as it was Kanns.
The two have been close friends for a long time. I know. I have been out to dinner with both at the same time. You cant not like Kraig Kann. But part of being his friend means listening to him talk about his precious Missouri Tiger football team. Williamson understands this, too.
The instructive part in all of this was how much we learned from the Williamson-Kann interviews and the broadcasts about how complex the job of a TOUR caddie really is. Kann is a solid, single-digit amateur player. And being in and around the game 24/7 is part of the deal when you sign on to work at GOLF CHANNEL. Its not like Williamson strolled out to Epcot and picked the first able looking body that ambled past on the midway.
Even better, we got to watch Kann hustling and, yes, struggling at times, to attend to all his duties during on-and-off downpours while Williamson was turning 76 into 73 in round one.
I cringed when Nick Faldo and, to a lesser degree Peter Oosterhuis, made incessant fun of Kann during the live broadcast Thursday. Brandel Chamblee had more great, good fun with Kann on the Sprint Post Game. And I cringed even more when I remembered that my question to Williamson during the Wednesday taping of the Grey Goose 19th Hole went something like: Jay, caddies are supposed to show up, keep up and shut up. I think Kraig will show up. Im pretty sure he can keep up. But how are you going to get him to shut up?
Through it all, Kann was a good sport. So was Williamson who succeeded in debunking the myth that he was an ogre because he fired a caddie in mid-round earlier this year.
Anyhow, people are talking about caddies this week. Thats not a bad thing. A good caddie is like a good basketball official. The best ones dont get noticed at all. My personal favorite that way is Pete Bender.
Bender has looped for Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Ray Floyd, Lanny Wadkins, Ian Baker-Finch, Rocco Mediate and Aaron Baddeley. Theres got to be a book in there somewhere. But tell-alls are definitely not Benders style.
Finally, all of this also got me to thinking/musing about player-caddie pairings---in and out of golf---that will never happen but would be interesting to watch if they ever did. Here are a few:
(Warning in advance: A couple of these are way inside).
Colin Montgomerie caddying for Faldo.
Faldo: Show up, keep up and shut up. Especially show up and shut up.
Bill Clinton caddying for Hillary Clinton. Bill: So let me get this straight, Ive got to wear a caddie bib but there are no free ribs?
Peyton Manning caddying for Tom Brady. Manning: Well see whos caddying for whom after Sunday.
Vijay caddying for Phil. Phil: When you get done with that divot, Veej, can you come over here and get these spike marks?
Felix Unger caddying for Oscar Madison. Felix: I think you missed a little dirt between the third and the fourth groove.
Willard Scott caddying for Al Roker. Roker: Whats the wind doing?
Bob Rosburg caddying for anybody. Rossie: Youve got no shot.
Pat Bradley caddying for Annika Sorenstam. Annika: Whos away?
Verne Lundquist caddying for Jack Nicklaus. Lundquist: Yes sir!!!
Rosie ODonnell caddying for Donald Trump. ODonnell: Carry your own clubs, you creep.
Finally, Costello caddying for Abbott:
Costello: 'Whos away?'
Abbott: 'Right.'
Costello: 'Whats right?'
Abbott: 'Away.'
Costello: 'OK, whos closer?'
Abbott: 'Correct.'
Costello: 'Whos away?'
Abbott: 'No, right.'
Costello: 'And whos closer?'
Abbott: 'Yes.'
Costello: 'So who goes first?'
Abbott: 'Right.'
Costello: 'Rossie, Ive got no shot.'

Kraig, back to you at the Sprint Desk.

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