Champion Caddie of the Year, and praising Caddie Network’s secret genius
What a Sunday. What a tournament! One of the best major Sundays for a while, and certainly among the most entertaining British Opens in recent memory. The players, of course, stole the headlines. Tiger Woods grabbing the the lead for a fleeting moment; Rory McIlroy making a late run at the trophy; and Francesco Molinari ultimately lifting the Claret Jug with his metronomic display throughout the weekend.
But it wasn’t just the players and fans who got in on the fun. It was a particularly spectacular week for the caddies, too. Lots of memorable moments; let’s take a look at a few…
Francesco Molinari… caddie?
Turns out, the Masters caddie circuit can be a great talent factory for future British Open champions — at least in Molinari’s case. Twelve years before Molinari stared Tiger in the face and bettered the crowd favorite with a cold-blooded display from tee-to-green, Francesco was on the bag for Edoardo Molinari during his 2006 Masters tournament, where he shot 80-77 as an amateur while playing with Tiger Woods. Pictures of the event got some heavy buzz after the event, and for good reason. If I’m Francesco, I’m framing these just below my Claret Jug.
These pictures from the ’06 Masters of Molinari caddying against Tiger (and Stevie!) are priceless pic.twitter.com/Hb39YHuuoH
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) July 22, 2018
Caddie 2, resident genius
Can we just take a moment to praise the mysterious genius otherwise known as Caddie #2? His five picks finished T-28, T-2, T-9, 1, T-2. Three players in the top two, and yet his identity remains a mystery! I’d be bragging about this for years. It’s like that scene in Good Will Hunting, where Matt Damon solves the equation on the wall then runs away before the professor discovers who he is. Thank you, sweet prince.
— The Caddie Network (@CaddieNetwork) July 18, 2018
Just shy of a bird dance
Zach Johnson looked great at Carnoustie right before he promptly faded away, which is a shame. I’d have been totally ok to watch caddie Damon Green bird-flap his way to a second British Open victory in four years.
Please not Zach Johnson😩 #TheOpen
— Golf Club Wanker (@GolfClubWanker) July 20, 2018
Kaymer’s lucky charm
That said, not every caddie’s bet turned out well this week. Martin Kaymer’s caddie, Craig Connelly, had a friendly wager with his caddie over whether his player could birdie the 18th hole during a practice round. Kaymer took the bet and enlisted the help of an “independent” caddie, Rhys, who watched the two-time major champ win the bet right in front of him. Let’s hope he gets a cut of the winnings…
— Martin Kaymer (@MKaymer59) July 18, 2018
The Hangover Part IV
Caddies jobs require juggling all kinds of things. On Sunday, Eddie Pepperell admitted after the round that he came into the round slightly hungover after a few too many drinks the night before.
I wasn’t THAT drunk last night! I remember having a shower and brushing my teeth so I’d say I was fine. What a great day all round for me and thank you for all the wonderful messages. Phil was awesome 👌🏼 and Francesco is the kind of golfer you dream of becoming. 🏌🏼♂️
— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) July 22, 2018
Somehow, it seemed to work: Pepperell fired a final-round 67 to finish T-6. Fellow European Tour player Thomas Pieters praised his caddie, Mick Doran, for nursing him through the round. A new skill to add to the resume! And a valuable one, too.
If @PepperellEddie birdies the last he wins the open. All credit to his caddy!
— Thomas Pieters (@Thomas_Pieters) July 22, 2018
And finally, a nice moment from the British Open’s silver medal winner, Sam Locke. Locke had his father on the bag this week and, after his final round 78, thanked his dad for his support through the years in a heartfelt interview with the BBC.
The Open Championship Silver Medal winner Sam Locke says his Carnoustie success deserves to be shared with his dad, who is also his coach and was his caddy this week. pic.twitter.com/R2yGqyIknd
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) July 22, 2018