Fight Club Caddie-Player

By Michael CollinsJuly 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
As most of my new loyal readers know I am not one to pretend to be somewhere I am not so I wanna start by telling everyone I am not at the John Deere Classic this week. I am in Pennsylvania hanging out with my mom and letting her have some quality time with her grandson. But hes taking a nap and I still felt a twinge of obligation to yall because I have received so many great letters of encouragement from those of you who get a kick out my stuff.
Heres a true story that happened to me at the John Deere Classic a few years ago when I was caddying:
Im caddying for Brenden Pappas; its his rookie year on TOUR. Hes struggling just a little bit with putting too much pressure on himself and every now and then having a meltdown. It was (later) clinically diagnosed as a sugar imbalance; I personally called it Progolferitis (because EVERY guy I know that plays gets it every now and then).
So Thursday were playing and not having a great day, not a bad day (Even through 12) but when youre suffering from Progolferitis any score is a disastrous score! So were on the short par-4 13th hole and Brenden, who hits it a long way, pulls out 3-wood, which is the right club to hit on this hole for him. Unfortunately he snap hooks it left into the fairway bunker and gets so mad he leans on the 3-wood til it pops!
Now weve got a 40 shaft and nothing attached to it because the head is in a bush. My boy turns to me and says, Hide this before I get a fine. So theres yours truly hiding a 3-wood head in the bag while putting the broken shaft in a Port-a-John for someone to find! In true infomercial fashion... But wait, theres more!
As we get to the bunker the ball has come to rest in, we see that we have a good lie. The front of the bunker is about 8 feet high, but were far enough back to where it wont be a problem. The green is slightly elevated and almost table-topped shaped, long and thin. The hole is back left. I get the rake, and stand just left of the bunker as Brenden gets in and settles his feet. He hits a shot that looks just a little left. As he cant see over the bunker he turns to me and says, WHERED THAT GO?! And I say, I couldnt see it, but it looked just a little left of the hole. Apparently that was the wrong answer because a bout of Progolferitis broke out. Heres the exchange (minus the expletives and there were ALOT of those in between)...
Pappas: What do you mean you didnt see it? Thats your job! Why are you out here with me if I cant count on you to see where the ball goes?!
Me: Youre 65 asking a guy 55 where the ball went?! If YOU cant see it how the (blank) am I gonna see it? I can barely see the top of the stupid bunker!
Now there are moments on the golf course when things seem at there worst and an exchange like this happens. Brenden, for a split second, looks ready to explode then realizes what just happened and tries not to laugh as he walks out of the bunker and watches his now FUMING short caddie stomp down in the sand and start raking (a thing to this day I hate doing). Now he goes to the green and a minute later I arrive to find his ball 8 feet from the pin on the green. Now I am ready to kill somebody and Brenden still has Golferitis so were probably not gonna talk for a couple holes. He misses the putt, taps in for par. Now he is in full blown, Stage 5, meltdown mode, and were even par and its only Thursday, God save us... But wait, theres more...
The 14th hole is a drivable par-4, but when the pin is on the front of the green we had decided to lay up because the wedge shot was easier than the pitch even though it was a blind second shot. We lay up with an iron off the tee in the first cut left; OK lie, but my man cant see straight cause hes in Stage 5 Progolferitis. Nothing I can do to save him now. He hits a lob wedge past the hole and it spins off the green. Oh boy... I had never seen a Stage 6 but my boy Brenden BIT the shaft of his lob wedge as we walked to the green!
I give him the pitching wedge, and walk to the back of the green to watch the chip (and because I need a minute to compose myself and figure out what the heck to do to calm my boy down). I turn around and Brenden hits the perfect chip, lands 5 feet short, rolls out, smacks the flagstick, and drops. Dead center. Two-hundred people surrounding go nuts, Brenden smiles, tips the cap to the fans and then turns to me with this blank eating grin on his face but there is no smile on my face.
I lift up my caddie vest and start unhooking my belt never letting my eyes leave Brendens. Then I start walking towards him as he is taking the ball out of the hole and now he is picking up his pace to get away from me and towards the next tee, this in front of all those people!
Dont hit me!! He says trying not to laugh, and trying to be quiet as the other two guys in the threesome have to putt out on the 14th green.
But now I am laughing, too. Id love to tell you that we skipped off into the sunset and won the tournament but thats just not how real life works. Doesnt matter, though; we still laugh about that day together when we hang out.
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.
Email your thoughts to Michael Collins
Related Links:
  • Michael Collins Archive
  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Getty Images

    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.