CAVES VALLEY, Md. – As Xander Schauffele’s caddie, Austin Kaiser has recently spent a lot of time around an Olympic medal. After Thursday, it’s clear that Kaiser won’t be winning one in track and field.
Not that Kaiser is slow. He showed off his wheels for the crowd at Caves Valley after a slight miscommunication led to Schauffele’s putter briefly going missing during the first round of the BMW Championship.
“Yeah, that’s my fault,” Schauffele conceded afterward.
Here’s what happened: Schauffele had just putted out for par at the par-4 10th hole when nature called. He took the flatstick with him, leaning it up against the outside of the portable restroom. He then forgot the putter as he headed to the next hole.
“I thought [Austin] grabbed it, which is my fault, and then I didn't look, which is my fault again, so I had like a triple whammy there,” Schauffele said.
Kaiser and Schauffele didn’t notice the club was missing until after Schauffele hit a wedge to 6 feet at the 347-yard, par-4 11th hole.
“I looked in the bag and was like, ‘Where’s the putter?’” Kaiser said.
The dots quickly connected for Schauffele, who then responded: “My bad.”
So, being the gold-medal caddie that he is, Kaiser sprinted back for the missing club. Upon returning from the estimated 700-yard detour, he held his hands out like Usain Bolt crossing the finish line, as the crowd cheered.
“I wasn’t even putting in a full sprint because I knew if I got down to the bottom, I’d be seeing stars, but I was comfortably at maybe 15 mph downhill, but the uphill was what killed me,” Kaiser said. “Xander was like, ‘Take your time,’ but I was like, ‘We don’t have time, we’re already behind.’”
Added Schauffele: “He'd be the first to tell you he's not that guy [who is super fast], but it was nice that the crowd got him going coming in because he was huffing and puffing.”
Schauffele went on to miss the birdie putt – “so, it was really not a good hole for me,” he added. But he did open in 5-under 67 and sits three shots off the lead after 18 holes of the BMW, the last event for Schauffele, No. 7 in Ryder Cup points, to overtake Tony Finau for the sixth and final automatic berth on the U.S. team.