Robert Garrigus is always giving back, even though it’s usually done behind the scenes and without a big shiny press release. He often picks up the food tab at the caddie trailer for the entire week. He’s thrown in a big-screen TV for the winner of the caddies’ closest-to-the-pin contest on Wednesday of The Players Championship. He’s paid the fees for the Caddies’ Tournament golf course, along with the $10K purse, the past several years.
This time, Garrigus, who earned a career-high $3.2 million in 2012, is taking it a step further and making things more official. He’s setting up a “Caddie Emergency Fund,” where PGA Tour caddies will have access to $100,000 for — yep, you guessed it — emergencies, and a scholarship foundation for caddies’ kids, which will probably be called Professional Tournament Caddie Association (PTCA) Foundation.
The caddie races on the 16th have become part of the festivities at the famed Waste Management Phoenix Open, known for the rowdy, drunk crowds, not to mention ginormous — 179,022 fans attended on Saturday, setting the all-time single-day record in pro golf history.
And it sure was memorable. Phil Mickelson continued to wow the crowds, posting a seven-under 64 for a 54-hole total of 24-under, six shots clear of the next nearest competitor, Brandt Snedeker. But really, the highlight of the day was the Henley Brothers putting on an epic show No. 16.
I probably shouldn’t admit what I’m about to say, but it’ll give you an idea of just how glamorous my life on tour is. On Saturday evening at dinner a few friends and I were chatting about golf (what else? /eyeroll) and we were guessing what 54-hole leader Scott Stallings had to shoot or the other guys that we thought had a shot at catching him.
See, thing is, a five-shot lead at the Palmer Private isn’t much of a lead. There were tons of guys who were in range to catch him– with some help from Stallings — because you have to assume at least one or two guys will shoot a 62 and/or 63. One friend said, “Four-under. Scott needs to shoot four-under to guarantee a victory.” I agreed.
Many fell prey to the heat that scorched Congressional Country Club on Friday afternoon, but not Hunter Mahan, whose sweet swing and cool demeanor helped him en route to a blistering six-under 65 in the second round of the AT&T National, which included birdies on two of the last three holes.
Heading into what’s expected to be another super hot and humid weekend, Mahan, -7, leads by two strokes over Brendon de Jonge, Jimmy Walker and Robert Garrigus. Mahan, 30, kept hydrated and played so well that the record-high temperatures didn’t bother him or affect him mentally.
Brian Gay incurred a one-stroke penalty on No. 17 at TPC River Highlands (his third hole on Saturday morning and 8th of his second round). While searching for his ball in the hazard he found it by accidentally stepping on it.
Gay and his caddie, Kip Henley, tried to appeal the ruling after the weather-delayed second round. Despite nearly
an hour-a thirty-minute-long discussion with VP of Rules and Competition Mark Russell, along with Stephen Cox, the rules official who was on-site, the decision held up.
Had it been overturned, Gay would have carded a 7 rather than an 8 on the hole to post a 36-hole total one-under instead of even par and changed the cut to one-under at the Travelers Championship.
Brian Gay’s ball stopped short of rolling into the swamp, just left of the green on No. 15 during Thursday’s first round of the RBC Heritage. While Gay’s ball was playable, there was a more dangerous threat to take care of first — an alligator hovering a little too close for comfort.
No problem for Kip Henley, Gay’s caddie, who took about five minutes to chase off the gator. “Be gone (I told it),” said Henley on Friday at Harbour Town Golf Links.
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.
I may have spent a good portion of the afternoon sitting in a darkened room in a drizzle-soaked and recession-ravaged city, but Stephanie’s been out gallavanting around Monterey, where, among other things, she got some face-time with Tiger’s pro-am partner, Tony Romo.
As the Tennessee PGA Section champion, Kip Henley, who normally loops for Brian Gay, received a spot in the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Thanks to Intern Kevin, Kip’s #1 fan, for spotting Richard S. Johnson’s tweet of the note Kip posted in the locker room.