Caddy for a Caddie

By Michael CollinsApril 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA TOUR as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Mondays on GOLF CHANNEL.
This week while you are watching the Byron Nelson, it'll be OK to root for someone OTHER than the guys playing. This week the winning caddie will win an $85,000 Cadillac, no strings attached!
Yep, a few weeks ago there were a couple strange flyers hanging up in the caddie trailer just above the door where we'd walk in. Picture of a REALLY nice car and in bold print, 'Caddy for a Caddie.' No one took much notice of it until Donna (the mother hen of the caddie trailer) started telling us she was gonna take the week off so she could caddie and try to win the car. Well now EVERY caddie and his cousin are up looking at this flyer hanging in the trailer to see what the deal is.
Now if you know caddies, and many of you do, you know they are an extremely suspicious bunch. Anytime an offer of free anything is made... alcohol, a party, clothes, hell even when the PGA TOUR finally stepped up and offered health insurance reimbursement three years ago (yeah it took 'em that long), caddies look like cats in a dog pound, nervous and very 'jumpy.'
That's because for so many years the caddies were looked upon as second class citizens. The TOURs dirty little secret is like the former governor of NY's 'friend: they love having us around... just dont want anyone to know. All my caddie brothers reading this will agree that back in the day that was probably the right thing because many caddies were just like you think. Hence the three S saying by players was always in effect.
No. 1: Show up. A lot easier said than done in years past. There were many missed tee times by caddies who went a little too 'full out' the previous night. In days past some caddies had been know to sleep in their cars, at the course, for a couple of hours after a good night so as not to miss a tee time. One guy 'slept' (passed out) next to the first tee and still missed his time. He looked so peaceful drooling there in a bush.
No. 2: Stand up. Yes to you it seems like, 'Well that's stupid. If you can show up...?' But not so fast my friends. Many stories run through caddie lore of men who showed up, and went down. Caddies who only made it a few holes before succumbing to the call of the bushes or the port-o'-potty never to be seen again. OK, maybe just never to be seen till the next week. Even recently (within the last 10 years) caddies have been known to leave a club lying helplessly by a sand trap as the fog that encased his brain didn't allow him to see where his player had tossed the wedge next to the bag after hitting the bunker shot and taking the putter. Only to be three holes away and need said golf club and have it not be in the bag. What the hell are you all looking at me for?!
No. 3: Shut up. Probably the most important rule of them all back then. Because if you could get your boy to show up AND stand up, the residuals of last nights binge could possibly raise the blood alcohol level of the player just from the caddies breath! Of course, back then, at $25 a day, you get what you paid for.
But then the money started rolling in... THANKS TIGER!!!
No more six caddies to a room at Motel 6 (isn't that how the name came about?). Caddies started flying to tournaments instead of piling into a car like a bunch of clowns. Tournaments actually started providing food and shelter (don't laugh, this just came about in the last five years). And then, like in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, something wonderful happened. A few weeks before the Wachovia Championship the tournament director, Kym Hougham (get this man a cape and put an S on his chest!) came around and asked the caddies if there was anything they needed. What? Seriously?! We thought it was a joke, so we told him. And like magic... POOF, valet parking... POW, catered food... BING, cable TV and sofas in the caddies air conditioned tent. And the end all, be all for caddies... USE OF A REAL BATHROOM!!! (Doesn't seem like much, but when you gotta go, you'd sell family members not to have to go in that port-a-john).
So we've come now to the 'can you top this' times on TOUR because now caddies will actively lobby their players on tournaments to play and this week the caddie carrying the winning bag gets a brand new Cadillac. Time for my pre-round warm up massage. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH, life is good!
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

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    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.