For caddie Benji Thompson, Masters week marks a home game

Benji Thompson, here with former boss Lexi Thompson, estimates he’s caddied at Augusta National between 2,000-3,000 times. Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

As Abraham Ancer takes the course today for the first round of the 2021 Masters, he has an advantage over all other golfers. His caddie, Benji Thompson, is from Augusta, Georgia, and has been looping the course for over 20 years.

Thompson started caddying at Augusta National in 1998 when he was just 16 years old. Now he will caddie at the world’s most prominent golf tournament on his home course, which can feel so foreign to everyone else.

“It’s hard to keep track of how many rounds I’ve caddied at Augusta National. It’s probably close to 2,000 or 3,000 rounds,” Thompson recalled.

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This will be Thompson’s second time caddying in the Masters. He was on the bag for Ben Martin in 2010 when he was an amateur.

“It’s awesome to be a caddie in the Masters,” Thompson said. “The place is special no matter how many times you walk it.”

Because Thompson has been around the course so much, he feels that he gives Ancer an edge that other golfers won’t have. Augusta National is notorious for its tricky greens and having a caddie that knows his way around them can make or break a round.

“I feel like I know the greens pretty well,” Thompson said. “They’re a lot faster this week than what I’m used to, but I still know all the breaks. I know where to hit into each pin to set up the best putt. On this course, you could hit it 20 feet from the hole and have a better look than some places that are five or six feet away because of a downhill breaker.”

Ancer tees off today at 9:48 a.m and Friday at 1 p.m. Thompson is excited about the opportunity and feels optimistic about the tournament.

“We are looking forward to a great week,” he said. “Abe is ready, and we are excited to get going.”

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