I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and all are looking forward to a wonderful New Year. Since my last Kaddy Korner I’ve acquired a new hip, spent the last three weeks slowly rehabilitating the muscles surrounding the titanium blend ball in my hip socket and making sure the plate bolted to my femur didn’t twist or break. Just after surgery, December 7, carrying a bag seemed like a long way off.
Safeway Classic, Pumpkin Ridge, North Plains, OR
Sunday practice rounds for a tournament starting Friday aren’t the norm but Misun wanted to play eighteen holes and practice a bit Sunday afternoon. I reluctantly obliged and was glad to see a cart available in the sweltering 100 degree heat. We beat some balls, teed it up about 2:30 and accomplished a lot. I was able to chart all the greens and she worked diligently on her short game. The nice thing about working Sunday afternoon was getting a head start on Helvetia Tavern cheeseburgers that evening.
Another week off but a lot going on and I tried to follow the Tiger parade through Augusta as much as possible. The cabin was still intact, Zach chased a few critters from the shed, and when we left on Thursday snow was collecting on the deck. Everywhere I went folks wanted to know my thoughts about Tiger. How would he finish at the Masters? What was going on in his personal life? Would Stevie keep his job? What did you think about the press conference on Monday?
Masters Preview from Kaddy Korner
When Arnie and Jack hit the ceremonial first drives Thursday morning hopefully all the Tiger trash will be over. The Monday press conference could drag on into Tuesday morning and nobody is worried about the golf yet. A lot of the players are gearing up for the press onslaught, the reporters will have a lot of down time and they’ll be looking for someone to talk to besides Tiger.
Driving across Alligator Alley early Tuesday morning I was staring directly into the sun and wondering what the week held. Sunday I’d hooked up with Jim Roy, some amateur who played a fabulous final round 66 at the Q-school to get his card. Could he really play? Was this going to be only a job for the week or maybe the year? What kind of guy is he? Is the pay going to be any good? All these questions were running through my head as I cruised into Boca Raton and the Old Course at Broken Sound.
In the late 80’s dirt roads surrounded the small party at TPC. Back then you could hear the coyotes yipping and roadrunners skittered across the fairways. The wildlife has changed, the golf has almost become secondary to the party, and the attendance rose drastically. The tournament the Thunderbirds reluctantly took over in 1939 under Bob Goldwater’s tutelage now claims bragging rights as the PGA Tour’s largest party and has contributed $65,000,000 to local charities.
(Just after I published this article rumors from Australia surfaced Tiger would play Accenture Match Play in Tucson, and it was also reported on local Phoenix news stations. We’ll see what happens, I’m still sticking to my guns)
Tiger is tucked away in Hattiesburg, MS trying to get his shaft under control. Over the years we’ve watched him trying to control many wayward drives. The flex in your driver shaft often determines how well you control your tee shots. Tiger’s recent flex point control issue has more serious implications on his life, children, and marriage. Who knew two months ago we would be waiting his return while he regained flex point control at Pine Grove Institute instead of a golf testing center in Carlsbad, CA?
The crew is cruising the West Coast without me but I’ve been trying to keep in touch with a few of my buddies. Without El Tigre the tour has had to create some more excitement and they aren’t doing it on the course.
Coming down the stretch the last three weeks with a chance to win the tournament three non-winners Bubba Watson, Tim Clark, and Michael Sim all chose to lay up on par fives essentially playing for second and the money, not the win. Phil or Tiger wouldn’t have given a thought to the lay up area. Thanks for some boring golf and yesterday’s winner Ben Crane didn’t even know he won the tournament, his caddy had to tell him. Don’t know about you guys but I love that spontaneous celebration when the putt drops.
San Diego may be a top tourist destination with Torrey Pines perched high on the public course list but it’s not a favorite stop for caddies. Over the years it’s been a tough walk in sloppy conditions and the temperature can be 40 degrees with howling winds along the South course coast while sunny and warm on the North course. It’s a tough place to pull a club and find a sprinkler head, they never bothered putting numbers on the heads and the circling winds, heavy air, and subtle elevation changes leave many Titleists great distances from the target.
John Daly is back: Lean & Mean Outside, Big Heart Inside
They wouldn’t let him in the Hawaiian Open pro-am party Tuesday night because nobody recognized him. He’s lost over a hundred pounds and rededicated himself, hopefully John sticks to it. He’s on his last leg, and at 44 years old his competitive years are not many. Watching the Hawaiian Open’s first two rounds made me realize what a draw JD is.