Could You Caddie for Vijay

By Michael CollinsSeptember 4, 2008, 4:00 pm
See, you did a knee-jerk reaction...HECK YEAH!!! Well, just slow down there my little doodlebugs.
The upside: Fly on a private jet; earn over $500,000 a year; and this year, in four weeks, youd get a check for a cool $1 million. I wonder if Vijay Singh is going to walk around East Lake with the $9 million in his golf bag, because hes going to have it wrapped up by then (and the PGA TOUR sings with Britney Spears, Oops We Did It Again). And if he does, he wont actually be carrying it; you will.
The downside: You no longer have a family; you may tell people you have a wife and kids at home, but they dont get to see you. And I am not being funny or vague. Dont bother bringing them out on the road because they cant talk to you while youre at the golf course. And when daddy gets home (to the hotel), hes exhausted from carrying that 40-pound bag around for six hours. When you hear Vijay is taking a week off, you better know that its just from tournaments, not from work. Youre working that week in Ponte Vedra Beach at TPC Sawgrass, at least eight hours a day, at least five days during that week off.
Travel ... yes in that private jet. Sightseeing in India are you nuts? While your boss is doing the press stuff, you better be on the course getting all the greens read, because if he asks for a read and you give him the wrong one, youre going to hear about it and not just for a hole or two. Get a yardage or give a bad club? Get that Japanese sword out that your wife bought and do the honorable thing, because if you dont youll be looking for your ear lobes all over the course and theyre going to be chewed all to bits.
Oh, and while in India you get food poisoning, lose 20 pounds (not a bad idea for me), and are on a diet of rice water and Saltines.
Still sound like that glamour job you dreamed it would be?
OK, how about having to let your boss dress you down in front of people, sometimes your friends, and having to keep your mouth shut for fear of losing your job or fear of your player blaming your comeback comment on his bad play? You think that flight on that cool private jet is fun after missing the cut. Think about that uncomfortable silence, and stretch it out to three or four hours.
Now let me back up because you, and probably the man himself, will think Im throwing Vijay under the bus. Im not; hes my friend and so is his caddie. Hes one of the guys out here who gets a bad rap. Hes great to be around, and has a sense of humor that can make it hard to breathe when youre laughing hard.
Theres just a difference between friend and boss, and when you work for any player you have to know the difference (on the course and off). Im just letting you know that being a caddie may seem like a really glamorous job; its not. Its hard work, and even though some of it is physical, 70 percent is mental. Some days your player needs you to be talkative, some days they need you to be quiet, and if you dont know which days are which youll be fired quickly. All professional golfers are nuts, and caddies are only one floor below the players in the nuthouse.
A few years back, Vijays caddie quit and I had just been let go by my boss. We had a brief conversation about getting together. I went home and talked to my wife about it. I told her what it may take to work for a guy like Vijay, who puts his all into the game, but gets as much from it. Even before we had our first child what she said: I love you. I want us to be a family. Ill see you in two years. Go get that money, boy!
Thats my girl!
So Vijay, when this caddie quits, call me. Ill take two years to go.
Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA TOUR as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Mondays on GOLF CHANNEL. He also has his own Web site,
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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

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    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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    Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

    Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

    Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.

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    Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

    “I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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    Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

    Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

    “I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”

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    Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

    “We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

    Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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    Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

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    Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.

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    Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

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