Camilo Villegas’ caddie Brett Waldman has decided to pursue his dream to play professionally and take up his Nationwide Tour card instead of looping for one of the PGA Tour’s premier players, according to the AP. In between globetrotting with Villegas this fall, Waldman managed to pass three stages of qualifying to make it to the final stage of Q-school earlier this month. He shot a six-round total three-under and placed T64 — not quite good enough to earn his PGA Tour card, but he walked away with full status on the NWT.
For Waldman, the toughest part was deciding whether to give up a few hundred thousand (he probably made around $300,000 in 2010) to caddie or to follow a lifelong goal to play. Via the AP:
“It’s just a dream,” Waldman said. “I don’t want to look back knowing that I had the chance to do it and not doing it, and hating myself for it. I would always look back and say, ‘What if?’ There’s a reason I got to where I am. I might as well chase the dream.”
Naturally, Camilo has given Waldman his blessing:
“Camilo was great,” Waldman said. “I don’t think he was surprised. I think he expected it. I told him I was sorry, because I feel like we’ve got unfinished business. But all along, he has been unbelievable supportive and respectful.”
“I’m very happy for Brett,” Villegas said. “We had a great talk during the Q-school tournament and then again after he earned his Nationwide card. He is chasing his dream and I fully support him. He knows that I will do everything I can to help him, but he’s already taken a very big step on his own. I’m proud of him.”
I’m pretty sure just about any player would push Waldman to follow his dream. Chances are Waldman’s bank account will take a hit, but pursuing your passion is far more valuable than monetary gain. At least in my opinion. Besides, if he fails on the NWT, someone will have a bag for him to carry again on the PGA Tour.
If you were Waldman, what would you do? No question: play NWT.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)