Things caddies hate to hear from their bosses

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
PALM HARBOR, Fla. ' The only way Phil Mickelson could advance his ball from beneath a bush on the 12th hole at Doral was to swing from the other side. As is often the case, there was a risk involved.
I certainly didnt want to have to hit a right-handed shot with the lead, he said.
What concerned his caddie was the chance it could hit a palm tree and ricochet into even worse trouble, if not out-of-bounds. Thats why Jim Bones Mackay suggested a more conservative option by taking a penalty stroke and moving 20 yards back.
He was overruled. Lefty was adamant about going righty.
Ive done this before, Mickelson told him.
That might make the top 10 list of the worst things a caddie can hear his player say, but its not on Mackays list. He knew Mickelson had actually done it before.
One year Phil was playing at Summerlin with Neal Lancaster, Mackay said, referring to the Las Vegas tournament. The 12th hole was a par 4 where you drive it short of this lake, and then it runs all the way up the right side. Phil drove it next to a tree in front of the lake, so the next shot was entirely over water. He turns over an 8-iron and knocks it right-handed onto the green, 15 feet from the hole.
Neal hits it to 30 feet and left the first putt 15 feet short. Before he putted the next one, he turns to Phil and says two things ' I cant believe that shot you hit, and Ive got no chance of making this putt. And he missed it.
The right-handed shot at Doral came out perfectly ' except that it hit a tree. Luckily for Mickelson, it dropped down into the rough, and he wound up making only a bogey. Mickelson went on to win the CA Championship by one shot.
The caddie-player relationship took on a peculiar twist Tuesday afternoon on the practice range at Innisbrook when J.P. Hayes hit a smother-hook into the trees and uttered with genuine surprise, Whooooaaa!
Paul Goydos looked over at him and smiled.
Thats probably the worst thing a caddie can hear his player say, Goydos said.
And so began an animated discussion of the worst things a caddie can hear his player say. Among them:
  • I think its time for us to make a change.
    This is player-caddie code for Youre fired.
  • Ill keep the yardage book today.
    This does not mean the player is taking some of the workload off the caddie. This is a bad sign that usually precedes, I think its time for us to make a change. It happened to Mike Fluff Cowan at Riviera in 1999, and it was the last time he caddied for Tiger Woods.
  • How far did you say we had?
    Such a question typically is posed after a shot goes either 30 yards over the green or comes up 30 yards short. Usually, it means the caddie made a mathematical blunder ' but not always.
    Shaun Micheel flew the 16th green at Wentworth by some 20 yards in the World Match Play Championship final against Paul Casey. Everyone assumed he had a bad yardage, especially when Micheel was overheard telling caddie Tony Lingard after making double bogey, Dont say another word to me the rest of the day.
    But thats not what happened. Micheel wanted to hit 8-iron, and when the ball sailed over the green, caddie Tony Lingard said to him, Told you it was a 9-iron. Now thats probably the worst thing a caddie can say to his player.
    Some other things a caddie never want to hear from his player:
  • Get down.
    In other words, the ball has no chance of finding the green.
  • Go.
    See above.
  • Why do we have two drivers in the bag?
    Ian Woosnams caddie actually figured this out by himself on the second tee of the final round at the 2001 British Open. The extra club came with a two-stroke penalty.
  • Can you get my cell phone? Im going to see if I can catch an early flight.
    This is especially bad to hear on Friday morning. It means the player has no chance of making the cut, or believes he has no chance, which is even worse.
  • I think Im going to add Pebble Beach to my schedule this year.
    Why is this the last thing a caddie wants to hear? Not just because the rounds can be long with two pros and two amateurs over three days. And not because the bag will be heavier than usual with all the rain gear. The toughest part for a caddie is getting to the other two courses on the rotation, then finding the parking lot.
    Mackay has been working for Mickelson the last 16 years, and he was asked for his own list of worst things Lefty can say to him. Based on the answers, he probably was kidding.
  • Do you like this club if I decide to skip it across the water?
    Mickelson is among the best at skipping tee shots across the pond on the 16th hole at Augusta National, which has become a tradition during the practice round. It would not be terribly unusual for him to try it in competition.
  • Whats the carry over everything?
  • Did you hear what I just said to you?
    Mickelson said this on the 18th hole at Baltusrol in the third round of the 2005 PGA Championship. He was buried in the left rough with a stream dissecting the fairway about 80 yards away. Lefty wanted to hit a 4-wood. Mackay insisted that he lay up short with a wedge, fearing the 4-wood would tumble into the water. The caddie tried one last time to talk him out of it when Mickelson said this to him.
    I looked like a buffoon when it came to rest behind the green, Mackay said.
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    NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:00 pm

    The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

    After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

    Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


    TV Times (all times ET):

    11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
    4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

    4-8PM: Match-play finals

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    Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

    By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

    With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

    Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

    Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

    "I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

    "And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

    Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

    "There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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    UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

    UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

    Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

    Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

    WGCA First Team All-Americans

    • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
    • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
    • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
    • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
    • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
    • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
    • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
    • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
    • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
    • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
    • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
    • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
    Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

    Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

    By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

    Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

    Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

    Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

    The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity,, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.