Caddies get their shot at the infamous par-3 17th


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – One of the most entertaining traditions on the PGA Tour begins Wednesday morning at the Stadium Course’s iconic 17th hole when caddies take a turn at what has been described as the most intimidating shot in golf.

The annual closest-to-the-pin event was won last year by Robert Garrigus’ caddie, Brent Henley, and traditionally features more water balls than GIR.

For those with a betting interest, polled a dozen PGA Tour caddies to create odds for Wednesday’s event with Damon Green (Zach Johnson), Lance Ten Broeck (Tim Herron) and Paul Tesori (Webb Simpson) all receiving votes for likely champions.

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Among those on the bottom half of the draw were Mike “Fluff” Cowan (Jim Furyk), Scott Vail (Brandt Snedeker) and Steve Williams (Adam Scott).

The best 17th-hole story, however, goes to Jim “Bones” Mackay, Phil Mickelson’s longtime bagman.

During Mackay’s first Players on Lefty’s bag in 1993, he borrowed a club from Bob Estes and deposited his first attempt in the lake. Mackay’s second shot, this time using a different club, flew into the cup.

“It was a Freddie three (Couples made par at the 17th in 1999 after his first attempt flew into the water),” Mackay smiled. “It was the second shot Phil ever saw me hit.”