May
11
2011
Baddeley’s Caddie Wins Closest to the Pin Contest at TPC Sawgrass
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Anthony Knight, who loops for Aaron Baddeley, won the annual nearest to the hole caddie contest on the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass on Wednesday. Knight hit a pretty little 9-iron from 132 yards to 9′ 11.” The wind had picked up shortly before Baddeley’s and Knight’s group reached the tee, providing a swirly breeze and some much-needed relief during the 90-plus degree afternoon in Ponte Vedra Beach. The photo above is a screenshot of Baddeley’s tweet (go here to see the video).

I happened to have a front-row seat for the winning shot. I’d heard so much about the caddie contest, so I decided to brave the heat and walk out to the 17th hole to check out the action. Players and caddies encourage and share laughs with each other. I saw a few get pretty serious about it. I don’t blame them — after all, there’s quite a large gallery (especially for a Wednesday), along with cameras and a monster leaderboard.

I had my money on Steve Marino’s caddie, GW Cable, who is quite the legend. His shot looked good for a moment, but it landed just a foot short of being perfect and rolled down the slope to about 26 feet.

Players and caddies empty their wallets and donate an amount left to their discretion in a large jar. Several hundred-dollar bills were visible in the clear container, which was about three-quarters full already by mid-afternoon. Proceeds go to the Bruce Edwards foundation. Edwards, Tom Watson’s longtime looper, passed away in 2004 of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).