Three Masters-winning caddies share single coolest experience from Augusta wins
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in April 2020.
Joe LaCava was on the bag for Fred Couples in 1992 and Tiger Woods in 2019 when both players won the Masters.
Damon Green caddied Zach Johnson to a Masters victory in 2007 and was also on the bag when Johnson won the Open Championship at St. Andrews – the Home of Golf – in 2015.
Ted Scott, Bubba Watson’s longtime bagman, was on the bag when Watson won the Masters in 2012 and 2014.
All three caddies joined The Caddie Network for a special edition Masters-week podcast.
LISTEN: Special edition TCN Masters-week podcast with Masters-winning caddie Joe LaCava, Damon Green and Ted Scott
One topic of conversation during the podcast: What was the single-coolest experience each caddie had in the wake of that initial Masters win?
Starting with LaCava back in 1992 with Couples, here’s what he told us:
“I remember it was a later finish back then,” LaCava said. “Or it seemed like it was a later finish back then. They had the dinner and the whole nine yards. It was late at night when we finally got out of there. Similar to these guys, we keep the flag, you keep the jumpsuit, the whole nine yards. Later that night, this is ’92, so, pre-cellphone and all that, we ended up going over to the house that Fred was renting. Him and his crew were back there watching a replay of the Masters on an old VHS tape. Same thing with Damon… we had a few beers and Fred says, ‘You want to try on the green jacket?’ And I said, ‘I’d love to.’ So, I went to try it on and as I’m trying to get it around me after a few pops, I think I – I know I – ripped it. Right under the armpit. But Fred didn’t care, nobody cared, we got a little chuckle out of that and had a good time with that. We stayed there and we watched holes 12 through 15 and then Bones and I went out and had a few more beers. Nothing crazy, but it was obviously a magical moment and a lot of fun.”
As LaCava mentioned, Green’s moment also involved some pops.
“They had invited me into this member’s tent also,” Green recalled. “I had a good buddy with me there that week, Ben Lane. After we had won the tournament, one of the green jackets came up and said, ‘is there anything I can get you, Damon?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah. I need the pin from 18. I didn’t have a chance to get it because there were two or three groups behind us.’
“So, he goes and five minutes later he comes back with the pin, the flag and everything. I’m like, ‘wow! This is pretty cool!’ So, my buddy Ben was in charge of being the flag holder for the night. We’re walking over to the member’s tent to go in and I’ve still got my suit on and everything. We get to the front entrance and the lady at the front says, ‘well, you can come in, but your friend can’t.’ I said, ‘if he can’t come in, I’m not coming in. He’s in charge of the flag. If he can’t come in, I’m not coming in.’
“So they said, ‘OK. He can come in.’ It was the coolest experience I’ve ever had in my life. Like Teddy said – the food is named after all the different champions. They unveil this painting of what Zach had done to the day and they’re waiting on him from the minute he gets back from doing his interviews. It gives me chill bumps now just thinking about how cool that was. We’re hobnobbing with all the members and they’re so nice. They finally introduce Zach as the new champion and he gets up there and he’s emotional and we’re all just sitting around there enjoying the night.”
There’s even more to the story that Green shares in the podcast.
For Scott, the coolest moment circled back to something that was said earlier in the week.
“After he won, there I am in my white jumpsuit, my green hat and just hanging out, kinda waiting to see while he’s doing all his interviews and stuff,” Scott said. “Then the members come up and say, ‘come on with us.’ Then they invite me up to this celebration party with Bubba and it was pretty wild to be in there with all the members. They have incredible food. A lot of those meals are made from past champions’ meals that were favorites. They make those and they presented Bubba with this incredible painting of the week – I don’t know how they do it so quick. To be a part of the celebration was pretty wild.
“The funniest part of the night that I remember is – and you guys have probably heard this story – but Paul Tesori, Webb Simpson’s caddie, we were playing a round and he said, ‘I told my wife if she can find one of the two palm trees on the property, I’d buy her this ring.’ Bubba said, ‘where’s the palm tree?’ He said, ‘right there, but don’t say anything.’
“So, Bubba turns immediately and says, ‘hey, Michelle. Here’s the palm tree.’ She starts jumping up and down for joy. And Bubba’s starting to feel bad because Paulie’s going to have to go spend 10 grand on a ring. So, fast forward. Bubba says, ‘I’ll tell you what. If I win this week, I’ll buy you that ring. Then Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson say, ‘If I win…’ you know. So, they all committed that they’d buy the ring if they win.
“Well, Bubba won. When he finally gets to sit down – he’s finally resting. It’s like three hours after he won. He’s done shaking hands, kissing babies and that stuff. All of the sudden he looks at me and he says, ‘oh my gosh,’ and I say, ‘yup, you gotta buy Paulie that ring.’ That was a lot of fun that night, just that celebration and being a part of that experience, you know? I was so out of place – still wearing my outfit and stinking, sweating in there. It was pretty hilarious. What a great memory that was for me.”
What awesome memories for all those great guys! I loved the fact that Zach and Damon won without going for any par five in two, if my memory is correct?