In this episode, Craig “The Wee Man” Connelly chats with Steph and Nikki about how he became a caddy, pranks and camaraderie between caddies on tour, what it’s like being on the bag for Martin Kaymer, and his thoughts on the infamous US Open fescue. Jump to the 4:30 mark if you don’t want to hear Steph and Nikki blubber about how much they enjoyed chatting with The Wee Man. Grab a glass of wine or cold beer, sit back, and enjoy the Scottish lad’s hilarious quips and stories.
On Thursday the USGA announced the first- and second-round pairings and tee times for next week’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills, which is a bigly golf course, measuring out at 7,741 yards. With the venue set to host its first major professional event, there are a lot of unknowns about Erin Hills, but one thing’s for sure: It’s LONG; really, really long.
I played there in 2010 during the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and found it delightful (because I played well), but many of my colleagues complained about the heavy hay, which was thicker than usual since the course had just reopened after the costly renovations. Wind will be a factor. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a “links” course; maybe “faux links” or “links-inspired,” but Americans incorrectly identifying inland courses as “links” is very high (if not no. 1) on my list of pet peeves in golf.
The European Tour’s digital team — the best in golf across all platforms — delivers yet another amazing production, while also giving priceless birthday surprise for nine-year-old Aaron.
I don’t remember what I got on my ninth birthday, but I would bet all the money in the world it wasn’t anything close to the present Aaron received, thanks to his dad, the European Tour, and four of the biggest names in golf. Aaron’s dad emailed the European Tour and asked if they could do anything special to help celebrate his golf-fanatic son’s birthday, the Tour not only answered, but they went above and beyond to ensure Aaron would enjoy the most incredible birthday surprise ever.
After Tommy Fleetwood rolled in a four-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th to get to 17-under for the tournament, he took a two-shot lead and essentially clinched the win. But he still had to wait for three more players to finish, as he was in the penultimate group in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that featured a star-studded field.
Only Pablo Larrazábal had a chance of catching Fleetwood to force a playoff, but he needed an eagle. Larrazábal missed the green short left and needed a small miracle to pitch in to match Fleetwood at 17-under. His attempt fell short, but even before that, it felt like the champion had been already crowned — which was when Fleetwood made his putt for birdie.
And we thought it couldn’t be done — a truly, pee-in-your pants-laughing, hilarious golf…well, anything. In the history of the game. No joke. I can’t stop laughing and tears are streaming down my face! In a good way for a change this week! But I wasn’t expecting anything less. It’s quite a feat to create a video that crosses over to non-golf industry people — I’m fairly certain anyone, who doesn’t know or watch or like golf, will be LMAOLOLZ.
Wait, what am I talking about? Well, it’s the video we’ve all been waiting for…since the pro-am on Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi Championship. At least those of us who saw and/or heard the anecdotes from just about every player, manager, media person, insider on the European Tour.
It’s tradition at the HSBC Champions for the annual Caddie Awards to occur at a banquet the night before the competition begins. The most coveted trophy, of course, is “Caddie of the Year.” Martin Kaymer’s looper, Craig Connelly, was crowned as this year’s winner.
Jamie Donaldson rode Thomas Bjorn like a bull as the winning European Team entered the post-tournament press conference. Spirits were high, laughs were plentiful, and champagne even more so. To the victor go the spoils, indeed.
The American Ryder Cup team find themselves in a familiar position heading into Sunday’s singles matches: Losing. After a 3.5-0.5 thrashing in Saturday afternoon foursomes, the Europeans have taken a(nother) commanding lead 10-6 headed into the final day of the biennial matches.
Miracles do happen as we saw only two years ago at Medinah, but the chances of it happening for the Americans on foreign soil are slim to none. To put it bluntly, I’m not seeing “Glory at Gleneagles” — it’s been more like “Goof at Gleneagles,” with several major questionable decisions made by American Captain Tom Watson. (Just a few to start with: Why did he sit the rookies in Friday Foursomes? Why did he play Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley twice on Friday? Why didn’t he play them at all on Saturday? Why didn’t he rest Jimmy Walker?)
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed walked away from a hard-fought match against Justin Rose, Europe’s superstar this year, and Martin Kaymer to secure Team USA’s only half point in Saturday afternoon foursomes.
Only problem is the American rookie duo probably should have won the match, but bad breaks and sloppy putting led to a halve and killed any momentum the U.S. could’ve taken with them into the team room after a(nother) 3-1 drubbing in the alternate shot format. Now, the Americans find themselves trailing 10-6 and closing in on its eighth Ryder Cup loss in the last 10 attempts.