As you know, Dustin Johnson and Bobby Brown called it quits after working together for three years. It was an amicable split or “break” initially, according to their comments to the media. (It’s always easier to end things by calling it a “break” first, you know?) Sounds like things have worked out well for both DJ and Brown. DJ snagged one of the most-respected loopers in the game, Fred Couples’ longtime caddie Joe LaCava (who people say served as Freddie’s babysitter, too).
Brown says he was happy when he got a phone call from rookie Kyle Stanley, whom Brown had his eye on for the last few years. When Brown and Dustin split, he hoped to snag Stanley’s or Kevin Chappell’s bag. Brown and Stanley teamed up starting at the Colonial a few weeks ago. “When my stuff was going down with Dustin — I’ve known Kyle for the last four or five years and he was the one I was going for or this riffraff over here (Kevin Chappell),” Brown, gesturing, told me on Monday at the US Open Sectional Qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. “Kyle was definitely the one I wanted to go for. It was a smooth transition going from Dustin’s length to Kyle’s length.
“(Kyle’s) work ethic is second to none. I like young players. I got a couple phone calls from some older guys, but I’m pretty much starting where I started with Dustin three years ago, you know what I mean?
“This kid might be a little more polished at 23. Definitely a better work ethic. He isn’t the physical specimen that DJ is, but he can certainly overpower a golf course when he needs to. Work on putting and chipping for the next year and we are going to be fine. Everything is going to be good. He’s a good kid.”
Could he possibly be suggesting DJ needs to practice more? Well, yeah, but that’s no secret. DJ’s coach Butch Harmon recently told SI that he had a “Come-to-Jesus conversation” with Dustin and said he had to eliminate his “extracurricular activities.”
By all accounts of those acquainted with Stanley, Brown won’t have to look up Stanley’s tee times for him. Stanley, who is from Gig Harbor, Wash. (and the only fellow Washingtonian on any Tour that I haven’t met), played on the Nationwide Tour in 2010 and earned his card by placing T9 at PGA Tour Q-School last December. He has three top-25 finishes, including a T12 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Stanley couldn’t be reached to confirm, but supposedly he’s already gone through four caddies this season.