For veteran caddie Matt Minister, trip to Maui for Sentry Tournament of Champions never gets old

For players and caddies on the PGA Tour, it doesn’t get much better than starting the year off in Maui for the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course. Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Minister, caddie for world No. 4 and reigning FedExCup Champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay, has plenty of experience looping at Kapalua’s Plantation Course for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

But the trip and the overall experience never gets old.

“The thing I look forward to the most about the Sentry Tournament of Champions is stepping off the plane and smelling the amazing Hawaiian air,” Minister explained to The Caddie Network. “It smells different than anywhere in the world I have been and I love it.”

One of the perks that comes along with being part of the PGA Tour’s traveling circus is that you’re usually chasing the sun. That means great venue after great venue.

Patrick Cantlay and caddie Matt Minister collected a PGA Tour-best four victories in the 2020-21 season. Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

For Minister, however, the best destination is the first one he’ll be visiting to start a new year yet again.

“Maui is my favorite place in the U.S.,” he explained. “The drive to Kapalua from the Maui airport is stunning. The drive to Kapalua along the cliffs is breathtaking and it always seems like I arrive near sunset, which makes it even more magical.”

Minister turned back the clock some 19 years when asked to recollect his favorite memory from a trip to Maui and the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“My favorite memory was in 2003 when the entertainment for the party was Lionel Ritchie,” Minister said. “He was amazing, and I knew and sang along to every song. Amazing to be that close to a legend.”

Minister is coming off an incredible season with the talented Cantlay, who recorded a Tour-best four victories in the 2020-21 season. For his part, Minister can’t help but wonder if the luck that came along with that spectacular season might have started at Kapaula.

“There are so many times I find myself just staring at the ocean when I caddie at Kapalua,” he said. “You will see whales breaching and rainbows every day. Last year, Patrick and I were right at the start of a rainbow. It blew my mind. Maybe that is where we found our pot of gold for the year. Ha!”

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