Best all-time caddie nicknames

By Jason CrookAugust 15, 2012, 3:24 pm

Here at we like to celebrate every holiday, no matter how big or small. With Wednesday being national Best Friends Day, we thought it would be appropriate to take a closer look at the faithful caddie.

While the constant accolades and recognition go the guys whose names litter the leaderboards week in and week out, when it comes to nicknames, it doesn’t get any better than their friend carrying the bag. Not sure if this is a coincidence or if nicknames just somehow lend themselves easier to men who carry another man’s luggage for a living, the way bacon and cheese lend themselves to … well, everything.

Either way, take some notes TO, AI, CP3, DWade, D12, KG, MJD, RGIII and what seems like every other professional athlete from the last 15 years. Some combination of your initials and jersey number is not a nickname, it’s just lame.

Here are some of the all-time best nicknames on the PGA Tour belonging to the stars’ better halves.

Jim “Bones” MacKayPhil Mickelson’s go-to guy on the bag for over 15 years. Lefty and Bones have been through all the highs and lows as a team, including all four of Phil’s major championship victories, and all of his major championship near misses. Fred Couples unintentionally dubbed MacKay “Bones” when he couldn’t remember his name and was trying to get the tall, skinny kid's attention during his first year as a caddie.

Jim Furyk

Mike “Fluff” Cowen – Has worked with Jim Furyk since 1999 and Tiger Woods for three years before that. Fellow caddies gave him the nickname Fluff for his resemblance to former pro golfer and broadcaster Steve Melnyk, who was also know by that name. Although one could argue the name fits his ever-present white mustache perfectly.

Steve Duplantis

Steve 'Asbestos' Duplantis – Respected as one of the best caddies during his time on Tour working with big names such as Jim Furyk, Rich Beem and Tommy Armour III. As much as he was respected on the course he was known more for his nightlife exploits off it. He earned the name “Asbestos” because others joked that he was fireproof – as in, he couldn’t be fired – even though he was constantly late, due in large part to his partying the night before. Duplantis died tragically in 2008 when he stepped off a curb in front of an oncoming taxi.

Ron Levin

Ron “Bambi” Levin – Caddied for legends such as Jack Nicklaus and up-and-comers like Anthony Kim. Also was on the bag for Todd Hamilton’s improbable playoff victory over Ernie Els at the 2004 British Open. (I have a feeling The Big Easy got over that loss recently.) Levin was christened “Bambi” early on in his career, looking like a babe in the woods, as a 17-year-old first-time caddie.

Carl Jackson

Carl “Skillet” Jackson – Ordained in Augusta National lore, the legendary looper has caddied 51 Masters, and has been on Ben Crenshaw’s bag for the tournament since 1976, helping him win the green jacket twice, in 1984 and 1995. He earned the nickname “Skillet” as a kid since as a joke others said he couldn’t throw a baseball hard enough to break an egg. He beat colon cancer in 2000, (only time he has missed The Masters since 1961) and claims to be the first black guest to play Augusta in 1988.

Lance Ten Broeck

“Last Call” Lance Ten Broeck – Has caddied for several notable players such as Robert Allenby and Jesper Parnevik, and has been known to caddie and play in the same tournament. The nickname is pretty self explanatory and he apparently has no problem living up to it. At the 2009 Valero Texas Open he played and caddied in the same tournament, beating his boss Parnevik by two strokes, (although they both missed the cut) preparing for the tournament with eight happy-hour special orders of a 22-ounce beer and a jug of saki for $6.50.

Sqeaky Medlin

Jeff “Squeeky” Medlen – Famously played a large role during John Daly's 1991 PGA Championship victory, caddying for an alternate who had never seen the course. Also carried Nick Price's bag to victory in two PGA Championships and a British Open. The man who's nickname derived from his high-pitched voice unfortunately passed away in 1997 after a battle with chronic myelogenus leukemia.

Steve Hale

Steven “Pepsi” Hale – Was on Keegan Bradley’s bag when he burst onto the scene in 2011, winning a major in his first try at the PGA Championship. The name “Pepsi” was born on the Nationwide Tour where he started the habit of placing cans of his favorite soda around the course before a round so he could pick them up as his group went through later in the day, simply because he didn’t like to carry them. The ritual stuck with him as he moved up to the big leagues and the nickname came right along with it.

Basil van Rooyen

Basil “Thirsty” Van Rooyen – The South African was most recently hired by the No. 1 women’s golfer in the world in Yani Tseng, but has collected 50 career wins all over the world working with the likes of Mark McNulty, Graham DeLaet, Mark James, David Frost, and John Daly. Van Rooyen’s “thirst” is said to be that of the adult variety, and after a hard day on the links carrying someones bag and only being publicly noticed if something goes wrong , who could blame him?

This admittedly is a very small sample size. There's hundreds more loopers out there who go by a singular name instead of the standard first and last that we have all become accustomed to. If you can drag yourself away from your Best Friend Day celebrations, feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below.

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Aggressiveness pays off for Spieth vs. Schwartzel

By Rex HoggardMarch 21, 2018, 9:32 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On Tuesday, Jordan Spieth said he hoped this week’s format would free him up and allow him to play more aggressively.

Although that wasn’t the case early in his Day 1 match against Charl Schwartzel, Spieth was able to get his week off to a solid start with a 2-and-1 victory.

After playing his first nine holes in even par, Spieth moved ahead in the match when Schwartzel made bogey at the par-5 12th hole and the American hit his approach at the par-4 13th hole to 3 feet, a shot he said was “pivotal,” and he added another birdie at the 14th hole to pull away.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

“I had a couple of iffy numbers and some swirly winds. I did not play aggressively,” Spieth said of his opening nine. “Once I got a couple numbers where I could put really nice, solid swings on, zeroed in at the target with no worry about anything else around, I did just that and it led to three or four birdies from the eighth hole on. You have to go at flagsticks to make birdies here.”

The early victory puts Spieth on a collision course with Patrick Reed, who also won his first-day match against HaoTong Li, 3 and 2. Spieth and Reed, who are a combined 7-2-2 when teamed together in the Ryder and Presidents Cup, will play each other in the final day of round-robin play on Friday.

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List takes Thomas to 18 putting with a wedge

By Rex HoggardMarch 21, 2018, 7:57 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – As he walked off the sixth tee on Wednesday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Luke List “swiped” his putter into what he thought was a bush. It was a wall.

List’s putter bent slightly, which meant he wasn’t allowed to employ it the rest of the round. Using a wedge to putt, he lost his opening-day match to Justin Thomas, 2 down.

“Stupid on my part,” List said. “I'll get the club fixed and go on to my next two matches.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Despite his putting disadvantage, List pushed Thomas to the 18th hole thanks to birdies at Nos. 13, 15 and 16, which included a chip-in from 18 feet at 15. Thomas was 3 up with four holes to play and managed to birdie the last, but it was far from stress-free.

“I was thinking about it, how bad that would hurt if I couldn't get it done,” Thomas said. “He hit some great putts and he made some good ones when he needed to.”

The situation also prompted Thomas to change his strategy on the greens, with not nearly as many conceded putts as normal.

“He putted probably two or three putts I wouldn't have made him putt with a putter,” Thomas said. “[No. 13] was a short putt he's probably going to make. It had a lot of break. But 12, that putt was 2 feet straight uphill. But I was like he's got a wedge, so I'm going to make him putt it.”

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 21, 2018, 7:45 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm:  (4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat (19) P. Reed: 1-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie (34) H. Li: 0-1-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman (20) X. Schauffele (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas (41) D. Frittelli (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 0-1-0 (10) P. Casey (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-1-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-0-0 (45) K. Stanley (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0 (51) R. Henley (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 1-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-1-0 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 1-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello (24) G. Woodland: 0-1-0 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-1-0 (40) S. Kodaira (37) W. Simpson: 0-1-0 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
(61) K. Na: 0-1-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-1-0 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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Hot Seat: The driver is burning Tiger

By Randall MellMarch 21, 2018, 6:51 pm

The men’s first major championship of the year is two weeks away, the women’s just a week away.

Here’s our Hot Seat lineup with the approach of the Masters and the ANA Inspiration in mind:

Smoking carbon composites – Tiger Woods

Woods is the betting favorite to win the Masters in most sportsbooks, and while his game is coming together quickly, he won’t be the experts’ pick without getting his driver under control.

The driver looks like the last piece Woods needs to once more become the favorite wherever he goes.

Right now, though, there’s an open wound that needs to be cauterized before he heads to Augusta National.

That double-cross Woods blew into someone’s backyard along the 16th hole Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational came from a reservoir of uncertainty that his driver continues to create. 

Woods has come a long way with his driver. When he pulls it out of the bag, it isn’t like he’s ripping a bandage off anymore, not the way it was three and four years ago. Still, he doesn’t pull that club with the same relish Rory McIlroy does, or Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, for that matter. Physically and psychologically, they’ve got an advantage on him until he does. 

Woods did not qualify for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, so he’s got extra time to address his biggest shortcoming.

“Project No. 1 over the next two weeks is going to be the driver,” Golf Channel’s Notah Begay said earlier this week. “Tiger has to focus in on trying to find some way to navigate Augusta National with the driver, because it’s a course that’s going to force you to hit driver.”

Dustin Johnson at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

Smoldering Tex Mex Tango – Dustin Johnson

The world No. 1 is playing just fine enough since his victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at year’s start. He’s just been overshadowed by the brilliance of a lot of fellow stars.

With McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas all winning in the last month, with Woods stepping up his game, Johnson has been quietly toiling toward the Masters.

Johnson has won 10 times since Woods' last victory, and yet Woods is the 8-to-1 favorite to win the Masters.

Johnson, McIlroy and Thomas are listed at 10-to-1 by the Westgate Las Vegas SportsBook.

It doesn’t rankle Johnson.

“It’s fine with me,” he said Tuesday. “He’s playing pretty well.”

Even as the defending champ this week at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, Johnson isn’t center stage, not with McIlroy marching into town off his dominant finish at the API.

Flying relatively under the radar might seem like a comfortable position for a world No. 1, but he won’t stay atop the world rankings for long flying under the radar.

Shanshan Feng during Round 2 at the 2017 Japan Classic.

Rolex Ranking Roast – Shanshan Feng

The women’s Rolex world No. 1 enters the week at the Kia Classic trying to hold off a strong field with the ANA Inspiration looming next week.

The top seven players in the world rankings, and 11 of the top 12, are at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California.

Feng has quietly reigned atop the world rankings for 19 consecutive weeks, holding off bids to overtake her by No. 2 Lexi Thompson, No. 3 So Yeon Ryu and No. 4 Sung Hyun Park.

They’ve all been close enough in world ranking average this year to take the top spot, but Feng isn’t backing down. She’s winless so far this this year, but she has finished fifth or better in two of her three starts.