Those Who Can Do Those Who Kannt Caddie

By Kraig KannOctober 30, 2007, 4:00 pm
ChildrenLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For 12-plus years Ive been covering golf and the PGA TOUR for GOLF CHANNEL. This week, thanks to a well-timed phone call from a friend back in August, Im seeing the PGA TOUR from a whole new perspective.
 
And for a short time on my first day on the bag, I was worried Id be late.
 
Im caddying for PGA TOUR professional Jay Williamson this week at the Childrens Miracle Network Classic at Disney World.
 
Jay Williamson and Kraig Kann
Jay and Kraig survived a short, but rainy day together Tuesday.
Williamson has been a buddy for a good number of years. We met on TOUR with mutual St. Louis connections. Both Jay and my wife hail from St. Louis and we both have a pretty strong passion for Missouri Tiger sports. Ive seen his career take more than a few turns, and this year has been the most interesting of them all. After starting his year without fully-exempt status, Williamson set foot on the Nationwide Tour in hopes of a return. And thats what happened.
 
Williamson won earlier this year on the Nationwide Tour in Ft. Smith, Ark. (his first PGA TOUR-sanctioned victory) and then parlayed a PGA TOUR sponsors exemption in Hartford at The Travelers into a near title, losing to Hunter Mahan in a playoff. Since then, Jays been compiling sponsors exemptions and solid finishes into a bid for the Top 125 ' which hes all but secured despite sitting near the bubble number.
 
Back to the phone call.
 
Williamson and I have long talked (jokingly at times) about me looping for him somewhere when it was practical. And this week seemed like the perfect opportunity. Jay called in August with the offer to caddy ' provided he earn a sponsors exemption into this weeks field ' with hopes of adding some levity to a very stressful year.
 
The GOLF CHANNEL deemed it a worthy opportunity ' allowing me a break from the Sprint Pre/Post Game schedule this week, for which Jay and I are quite thankful. And for those of you wondering ' yes, we have an agreement about how Ill be compensated at weeks end: plane tickets to an upcoming Mizzou Tiger game might be my favorite perk.
 
So today it began ' and not like most caddy-pro relationships in a given week. This morning, I met him on site at Disneys Palm and Magnolia Courses after I took my three kids to school.
 
And how about this for some stress: I hopped on Interstate-4 only to come upon an accident which forced traffic to a standstill for the better part of 15 minutes. And once that cleared and I found my way onto Disney property, another accident slowed traffic again ' making my 9:00 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. meeting time a bit shaky. Truth be told, I arrived on time to Jay saying youre early.
 
After Jay registered for the tournament, I actually registered in the caddie area ' just like the real caddies. We met with Tournament Director Kevin Weikel, who greeted us with some kind words of encouragement and then I sat near Jays bag while he did what so many TOUR pros do ' get a massage in the fitness trailer.
 
In between Jays trip to the equipment trailer to get a few adjustments made on a TaylorMade driver, we spent on-and-off time on the range ' catching some grief from Jays fellow PGA TOUR pros and some ribbing from caddies who were actually quite supportive. We grabbed lunch with Chris DiMarco and played a few practice holes with young gun Kyle Reifers.
 
Let me make this totally clear this week is a great opportunity. I get to see the PGA TOUR up close and inside the ropes while being a part of someone elses workspace. In this case its a good friend ' whos made me feel quite comfortable. But Im taking this quite seriously.
 
I actually caddied for Steve Flesch at Colonial the year he won the tournament, but that was only in the pro-am. This is the real deal; and I realize its completely different.
 
We talked about grain on the greens, what yardage he wants and when he wants it, who pulls the flagstick, where to stand when hitting from the tee and the fairway, how to properly read the wind ' things like that.
 
Biggest advice: answer questions when asked and dont offer information. Be prepared to offer information, however. The key is: be prepared. Jays a pro; he knows what hes doing and realizes hes going to handle more than he would on a given week. Actually, yardages and being prepared dont scare me ' its the deadline Im under when its our turn that has me a bit nervous.
 
We worked from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Im glad Ive got one more practice round left, before we tee it up for real on Thursday alongside J.P. Hayes and two amateurs for the first two rounds.
 
Wednesday will be much of the same, probably a few more holes than we played today. It rained today and tonight, which will make things interesting on Wednesday for two courses that are already very wet.
 
Stay tuned, Ill share more details Wednesday night, and will be doing a daily diary throughout the week.
 
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Children's Miracle Network Classic
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 9:20 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


    Getty Images

    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

    Getty Images

    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

    Getty Images

    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

    You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

    Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

    In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

    Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

    (All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

    Monday, July 16

    GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

    GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

    GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Tuesday, July 17

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Wednesday, July 18

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Thursday, July 19

    GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

    GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Friday, July 20

    GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Saturday, July 21

    GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Sunday, July 22

    GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)