Villegass caddie opts for Nationwide Tour

By Doug FergusonDecember 16, 2010, 4:05 am
ORLANDO, Fla. – After eight years as a caddie, and currently working for Camilo Villegas, Brett Waldman needs one himself now.

Waldman said Wednesday he will play the Nationwide Tour next year instead of working for one of golf’s top players. Waldman earned that shot by completing an amazing ride through Q-School and shooting a 68 in the sixth and final round.

It wasn’t enough to earn a PGA Tour card, but he is fully exempt on the next best tour in the United States.

The hardest part of his journey was the final decision – give up financial security by working for Villegas, or grind it out on a tour with no guaranteed pay from smaller purses.

“It’s just a dream,” Waldman said. “I don’t want to look back knowing that I had the chance to do it and not doing it, and hating myself for it. I would always look back and say, ‘What if?’ There’s a reason I got to where I am. I might as well chase the dream.”

Waldman had not played competitively since he was eliminated from the second stage of Q-School in 2002. He went to work as a caddie for his cousin, Tom Pernice Jr., for Ben Crane and eventually Villegas.

On a whim – and with prodding from his wife, Angel – he decided to try PGA Tour qualifying this year and was one of only nine players who made it through a pre-qualifier (four rounds) and the next two stages of four-round tournaments. While trying to advance, he continued to work for Villegas at the Tour Championship and tournaments in China and Australia.

“I’m very happy for Brett,” Villegas said. “We had a great talk during the Q-School tournament and then again after he earned his Nationwide card. He is chasing his dream and I fully support him. He knows that I will do everything I can to help him, but he’s already taken a very big step on his own. I’m proud of him.”

Waldman said he decided to play after talking to his wife, several friends – including Dallas Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna – caddies and players. Support was one-sided, and he told Villegas of his decision on Tuesday night.

“Camilo was great,” Waldman said. “I don’t think he was surprised. I think he expected it. I told him I was sorry, because I feel like we’ve got unfinished business. But all along, he has been unbelievable supportive and respectful.”

Waldman will start his Nationwide Tour season the last week of February at the Panama Claro Championship. His next event will be in Colombia, of all places, the home country of Villegas.

“I can’t image I’m going to be as popular as he is – even though I did caddie for him,” Waldman said with a laugh.

Even so, he has been amazed by the attention he has received. Waldman is not the only caddie capable of golf at a high level, and others have been on the PGA Tour before going to work as a caddie. What made him different was that he never reached the big leagues, and earned Nationwide status despite not having played serious golf in eight years.

“It was overwhelming, the amount of people supporting me,” he said. “When you’ve got the best players in the world pulling for you, it’s pretty cool.”

The first order of business: the former caddie finding a caddie for himself. He used PGA Tour caddies through Q-School, including the caddie for Matt Kuchar in two important stages. Waldman said he probably would ask a former college teammate.

“I’m pretty sure no one on the PGA Tour will want to caddie for me on the Nationwide Tour,” Waldman said.
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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

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