DORAL, Fla. – Ernie Els’ long-time caddie was thrilled that it was his turn to be on the bag when the Big Easy won Sunday at the WGC-CA Championship, and now he’s hoping his boss has a change of heart and puts him on the bag for the Masters.
Ricci Roberts was on Els’ bag when Phil Mickelson birdied five of the last seven holes to beat Els at the 2004 Masters. The loss also deeply stung Roberts, who caddied for Els in all three of Els' major championship victories. But if Els makes another run at Augusta National this year, Roberts isn’t scheduled to be there.
Roberts, who has been on Els’ bag almost 18 years, is sharing caddie responsibilities this year with Dan Quinn, the former NHL player who became a good friend to Els after they met at the Honda Classic two years ago. Els likes the effect Quinn has on him and wanted to work him onto his team, so went through his schedule this year and divided up events, with Roberts and Quinn each scheduled to get 12 or so turns as caddies. Each is scheduled to do two majors.
Quinn is down to be on the bag for the Masters and the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Roberts for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the British Open at St. Andrews.
“You never know, I might get that call for Augusta now,” Roberts said with a hopeful chuckle in the aftermath of the victory.
It's clear Roberts wants another shot at winning the Masters as badly as his boss does.
'I think he takes his game to Augusta with a fantastic chance,' Roberts said.