COVID Caddie Blog: Charles Schwab Challenge

Kyle Peters
Caddie Kyle Peters is our correspondent at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge. Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

After a 12-week hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PGA Tour resumes this week with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

This will be our gathering place for any and all caddie news/posts collected throughout the week. We’re dubbing it: “The COVID Caddie Blog” so we can give you a taste of how different things will be for loopers with this “new normal.”

PODCAST: Caddies discuss the return to PGA Tour golf following three-month hiatus

We’ve even enlisted the help of Kyle Peters (Corey Conners) to be our caddie correspondent. He’ll be our eyes and ears on the ground in Texas, but we’ll also be pulling together plenty more pertinent caddie posts from all our looper friends throughout the week. Check back often for our updates!

SUNDAY, JUNE 14

Get caught up on some of our favorite images with caddies from the 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge:

 

Nice snap by Kenny Harms in honor of Flag Day:

Here’s a look at the hole locations for the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge:

SATURDAY, JUNE 13

Caddie Zack Rasego checking in from Colonial:

Kenny Harms, caddie for 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge champion Kevin Na, snapped this photo of the famed Wall of Champions with his boss’s name now etched into it:

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Here’s a look at the hole locations for Round 3 of the Charles Schwab Challenge:

FRIDAY, JUNE 12

Caddie Kyle Peters likes to get a workout in even after a long day at the course. Here, he explains why:

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We got a kick out of this video, featuring our buddy Geno Bonnalie from Round 2 of the Charles Schwab Challenge on Friday:

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Round 2 hole locations, courtesy of caddie Kenny Harms:

THURSDAY, JUNE 11

Corey Conners got off to a solid start at Colonial on Thursday with a 4-under 66. You’ve got to wonder if it’s got anything to do with the extra reps his caddie Kyle Peters has been getting in at night on his Playstation:

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Each caddie bib at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge has a story. In addition to the player’s last name on the back of each bib, there is also the last name of a frontline healthcare worker. Kenny Harms, caddie for defending Charles Schwab Challenge champion Kevin Na, shared this photo this morning of his bib. If you scroll to the second image, you’ll learn more about the frontline worker whose name is on the bib:

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Caddie Aaron Flener is pretty excited to get back to work this week:

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Joey Duplantis gave us a look at the “new normal” for his greens-reading books:

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For the first time since the middle of March, we have live PGA Tour golf! Here, courtesy of caddie Kyle Peters, are the hole locations for Round 1 of the Charles Schwab Challenge:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10

Caddie Kyle Peters has developed a little routine this week…

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As Kenny Harms, caddie for defending champion Kevin Na, shows us, the folks at the Charles Schwab Challenge have done something extra classy for the first Tour event in 12 weeks. In addition to the players’ last names on caddie bibs, the bibs also feature the last name of a frontline healthcare worker:

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The famous statue of Ben Hogan at Colonial shows just how different things are right now as the PGA Tour resumes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of caddie Kyle Peters.

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Tour winner J.T. Poston and caddie Aaron Flener haven’t seen much of each other in the last three months, but they’re still very much on the same page:

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Check out the text message players and caddies received from the PGA Tour as a reminder on Wednesday morning:

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Out on the course, which will feature no fans for the foreseeable future on the PGA Tour, Kyle Peters snapped this photo of a leaderboard. Nothing out of the ordinary until you look at the name at the top — Mr. Ben Hogan.

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Here’s Peters giving you a MTV Cribs-style tour of his digs for this week in Fort Worth:

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While it’s great that the PGA Tour is restarting this week, everyone — especially players and caddies — know things are going to be quite different compared to what they were pre-COVID. Most notably? Well, they’re probably not going to be able to get out and roam around town in the evening. No problem for looper Kyle Peters, who brought along his Playstation for the trip to Colonial.

TUESDAY, JUNE 9

As they return to work at the Charles Schwab Challenge this week, our caddies have a message for the frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic…

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In an exclusive filed to The Caddie Network, Scott Sajtinac — president of the Association of Professional Tour Caddies and caddie for Jason Dufner — provided an in-depth look at what the first day back to work was like for players and caddies at the Charles Schwab Challenge following a 12-week hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the start of Sajtinac’s entry:

Alfred Hitchcock said, “there’s no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it.”

I have to say I was a little anxious about the build-up of Monday, not really knowing what to expect on the first day back in the PGA Tour’s return to golf. Seeing folks I hadn’t seen in a long time. All of us coming from some sort of hibernation from our sport, our jobs, our day to day lives. I’ve seen very few for three months, how will people be? How are we the first big-time pro sport back? Did I bring my hand sanitizer?

I was excited for sure, getting back to work is something I’ve longed for. I love what I do and I wanted back at it. But Monday, the first day of school of sorts, was quite uneventful. And I’m glad it was.

You can read it all by clicking here.

MONDAY, JUNE 8

Looks like Ted Scott’s day got better by the hour:

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Our caddie correspondent, Kyle Peters, started his day at 5:30 a.m. to travel to Fort Worth for the Charles Schwab Challenge. Here’s what he was met with once he got there:

The test had a quick turnaround, where Peters received the good news that he was negative:

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Longtime caddie Damon Green got a taste of the new normal after arriving in Texas:

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Upon arrival at Colonial, players and caddies had to take the COVID-19 nasal test we’ve all heard so much about. Here’s caddie Aaron Flener’s assessment…

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Rounds of golf typically begin and end with a handshake. That won’t be the case for the foreseeable future. Here, caddie Brian Reed (Kyle Stanley) summed it up pretty accurately:

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Before traveling to events beginning this week on the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours, players and caddies were “strongly encouraged” to take an at-home COVID-19 test before traveling. Safety, obviously, was the primary reason. In addition, if a player or caddie tests positive for the coronavirus while at a tournament they will receive a stipend from the Tour to cover medical and quarantine costs… but only if they’ve taken the at-home test before traveling and tested negative.

Kyle Peters, caddie for Tour winner Corey Conners and one of our caddie correspondents at Colonial, put together a video describing to us what the at-home test entailed. Check it out:

Luckily for Peters, his test came back negative and he’s all set to work:

Not everyone was so lucky, as Korn Ferry caddie Dave Mueller tweeted us ahead of this week’s Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass:

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Kenny Harms, defending caddie champion at the Charles Schwab Challenge after a win with Kevin Na in 2019, shared this “new normal” photo of his travels to Fort Worth:

While so much has changed during the Tour’s pause button was turned on in mid-March, one thing remains the same: As long as there are PGA Tour events going on, Harms will be doing pizzas reviews:

We also enjoyed this from Harms. An omen, perhaps?

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Before hitting the road to work for Bubba Watson at Colonial, caddie Ted Scott had the opportunity to knock out one last home project:

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Caddie Aaron Flener is excited to get back to work after a nice little weekend for boss J.T. Poston at a warm-up event in Sea Island:

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