ATLANTA – Halfway down the 11th fairway Dustin Johnson had seen enough. His caddie, Bobby Brown, showed up to work for Round 2 at the Tour Championship with an ailing back and just past the turn it wasn’t getting any better.
“He was having a hard time keeping up with me; he couldn’t bend over,” Johnson said. “I told him before we played, ‘You don’t need to go.’”
Brown was replaced on the bag by Cameron Hooper, a former teammate of Johnson’s at Coastal Carolina who was in the gallery. The change seemed to wrench Johnson out of his early-round doldrums and he proceeded to birdie three of his next four holes (Nos. 13, 14 and 15) for a second-round 67 that left him tied for fifth.
Hooper, a financial consultant with Morgan Stanley, said he was nervous on the first few holes but his familiarity with Johnson’s game helped.
“I didn’t even bring my tennis shoes,” Hooper smiled. “But it was go time.”
As for Brown, Johnson said the caddie felt a “pop” while putting on his socks Friday morning but expected him to be recovered in time for next week’s Ryder Cup. And if he’s not?
“Even if he’s not I’m sure he’ll be on the bag,” Johnson said.