AUGUSTA, Ga. – Only one caddie in Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest owned a LPGA major title.
Carrying seven clubs and dressed in the traditional white overalls, Ariya Jutanugarn was on the bag for Kiradech Aphibarnrat during the annual event on the eve of the Masters.
Jutanugarn and Aphibarnrat have known each other since they were kids growing up in Thailand, but because of their hectic travel schedules they rarely get to spend time together.
“I just kept asking him: ‘Can I please caddie for you?’ she said after the round, “and he finally said, ‘Yes.’”
The former women’s No. 1 attended last year’s Masters with her mother and sister, but this time she’s been more involved. After arriving into town on Monday, following the LPGA’s first major of the year, she walked nine holes with Aphibarnrat on Tuesday and then looped for him during the Par 3. She is spending the week at Aphibarnrat’s rental house, and she plans to attend each of the first two rounds.
“She’s got strong talent and she hits it a mile,” Aphibarnrat said. “Every minute I spent in the Par 3, it was really special.”
Jutanugarn wants to watch Aphibarnrat compete, of course, but she also has eyes on another competitor in the field.
“I really want to see Tiger,” she said, “but it’s going to be hard because there’s going to be a lot of people.”