It’s not often that a player on the driving range gives his caddie the green light to give an interview, but Brian Gay let me steal Kip Henley on Monday at Pebble Beach. I mean, I’m trying to imagine what would happen if any other looper asked his player if he could step away for a bit to talk to a reporter! It probably wouldn’t go over so well, but Brian is obviously a chill dude and Kip knows that, so it was all good (though I felt kind of bad — I guess I’m so used to waiting).
When I filed the Q&A, one of the editors joked, “Wow, candor. I almost didn’t recognize it.” That’s why Kip is awesome. He tells it like it is, but he doesn’t go too far.
What’s it like when you’re paired with bombers like Dustin Johnson and he’s blowing it by Brian by 100 yards? It must be tough to stick with your game plan.
It is. I want to talk a little bit about Brian being such a mental giant and withstanding that, but him being a short hitter—this will hurt his feelings—but the guy had maybe six times a year that he could conceivably win the golf tournament. It was inconceivable for him to win three-fourths of the times. He could play great and get maybe in the top 10. But winning was practically impossible on the big, long golf courses. And for him one year to win two out of the five-to-seven opportunities that he has to win a golf tournament is pretty incredible.
That same week, your daughter Stormi, a former Miss Teen USA and contestant on “American Idol,” caddied for you. Obviously she’s gorgeous, and you’re probably pretty protective of her around a bunch of guys out here. Did you make it clear that if they came anywhere near her, they’d regret it?
Oh yeah, when I started out here five years ago and she was a cute little girl then. Somebody would say something about her and I would always say, “Look, she’ll never date a Tour player or a Tour caddie.”
Just because they’re all crazy. They’re all crazy. And you can print that.
Do you have to be a little crazy to play this game at this level?
They’re crazy. A couple of the guys made a couple comments just to get under my skin. Like Anthony Kim told me one time, “Kip, you would love it if I’d date one of your daughters.” You can print this, too: I said, “You come around my yard, you’ll have a new hole in there you didn’t used to have.” We just laugh about it.
Big thanks to Kip (and Brian) for their time! You guys rock. Now if we can do something about those frosted tips…