Rhoden, who earned a conditional playing card for the Champions Tour last November, is in the field for the Senior PGA Championship this week at Oak Tree Golf Club. Tettleton, an Oak Tree member who lives in nearby Norman, is caddying for Rhoden during the tournament.
Rhoden pitched for 15 years in the majors, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and Houston Astros, and was an All-Star in 1976 and 1986. His career dovetailed with that of Tettleton, a catcher and first baseman who retired in 1997 after 14 seasons with the Oakland A's, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers.
The players shared the same agent and became friends through golf, Rhoden said. Tettleton said he was honored when Rhoden asked him to caddy.
'He kind of knows if he gets upset he can bark at me and it's not going to bother me,' Tettleton said.
Not that that happens too often.
On the course, 'he's too big to argue with, so you know, I'm not going to be arguing with him,' Rhoden said. 'It's just like pitching -- the catcher suggests the pitch, you have the final decision. Same as golf. I'll ask him what he thinks and the final decision is mine. So if I do something wrong, I'm the one with the club, so I'm the one at fault.'
Jay Haas is staying in the home of Oak Tree resident and PGA TOUR veteran Bob Tway during the tournament. On Tuesday, during a windy practice round, Tway followed Haas around and offered tips on how to play the course, which Haas said came in handy Thursday as he fired a 3-under-par 68.
'There are some holes he points out, 'Go at the chimney here, go at the flag here, the satellite dish on this hole,' all that stuff,' Haas said, smiling. 'Yeah, it pays off. It sure does, to kind of focus in on certain points. He only went 12 or 13 holes with us, though, so I'm on my own those last five.'
Haas said even Tway was surprised when the wind gusted above 30 mph, as it did during Tuesday's practice round. Tway told Haas that when the wind blows that hard, local pros just play the back nine, because those holes are 'mostly in the trees. He said they don't even venture out to the front nine. We probably shouldn't have either,' Haas said.
At 47, Tway isn't yet eligible to play on the 50-and-over Champions Tour, so he's missing the opportunity to play in a major on his home course, as he did in the 1988 PGA Championship.
'I don't think he's envious,' Haas said. 'He's a pretty laid-back guy.'
There's talk that a PGA TOUR major could return to Oak Tree in 2014, by which time Tway will be on the Champions Tour. But Tway's son, Kevin, won the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur championship. Someone mentioned to Haas that Kevin Tway could be on the PGA TOUR by 2014.
'That's right,' Haas said, 'and (Bob) could caddy for Kevin.'
BATTLING THE BOTTLE:
After shooting a 2-under-par 69, Dana Quigley opened up to reporters about his decision almost 16 years ago to give up alcohol. Quigley made $92,298 on the PGA Tour -- playing mostly from 1979 to 1982 -- but while alcohol-free, he's made about $12.5 million on the Champions Tour.
Quigley said that twice running his car into a tree in 1988 didn't change his behavior. A friend convinced him to go into treatment for his addiction, but Quigley remained dry for only a few months before he resumed drinking.
'I was breaking everyone's heart but my own because I was too drunk to worry about it,' Quigley said.
He said that late in 1990, he was driving from a course in Florida to a restaurant for some drinks when 'a light dawned on me' and he pulled his car off the road and headed home.
'I haven't had a drink since,' he said.
'It's still a problem every day. I would love to have a six-pack of beer right now. It would be perfect after this heat,' he said. 'But I can't do it, so it's something that I don't deal with. I don't feel like I have an option to deal with it, so I don't even worry about it. ... It's a widespread problem in the world and I was just really lucky.'
Scott Simpson had an up-and-down round, recording back-to-back bogeys twice but also stringing together birdies on No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9. He finished with a 1-over 72. ... John Chillas of Scotland withdrew from the tournament Thursday because of a bout of flu, opening a spot for Rocky Thompson of Houston. Chillas was the 13th player to withdraw. ... Club professional James Blair of Ogden, Utah, began his tournament with an eagle on Oak Tree's par-4, 437-yard No. 1, hitting a pitching wedge from 139 yards on his second shot. It's Blair's second Senior PGA Championship appearance.