PINEHURST, N.C. — Imagine playing in your first U.S. Amateur at iconic Pinehurst, one of the game’s ultimate Meccas.
For 29-year-old Denny Job, a caddie himself at Promontory Club in Park City, Utah, there was no one else he wanted to ask than his father, Ryan.
“It’s pretty cool to have him on the bag,” Job said of Ryan, who also looped for him at the U.S. Mid-Amateur last year.
“I wouldn’t want anybody else on the bag. He taught me this great game since I was really young, and it’s just awesome to be able to give back to him,” Job said.
Ryan started Denny in golf at age 7 and now feels fortunate to be caddying for his son in the U.S. Amateur, an event he was never able to qualify for himself. One year in the early 2000s, though, he made it through qualifying into the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
But he had to make a sacrifice.
“Because of work I couldn’t travel to it, so I had to cancel,” Ryan said.
After a baseball career in the minor leagues for the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros (and rooming with Astros and Padres star, the late Ken Caminiti in the Astros organization), Ryan started working for Mission Foods as an Account Manager and says he’s living vicariously through Denny this week.
“It’s absolutely a living through him experience,” Ryan said. “But now it’s better for me to be watching I guess than sweating it out myself.”
As a father, getting a chance to loop for his son is a special experience.
“It’s pretty awesome for me, the love for a father for a son, I needed to be here.”
Ryan says he knew about a month ago that he’d be caddying in this event, so he started walking and jogging three miles a day with his dog.
The two had never been to Pinehurst and finally got to walk the famed No. 2 course for a practice round late Sunday afternoon, the last practice day before competition began Monday. Both were understandably in awe of the course’s beauty.
“I’m just trying to soak it all in, there’s not a blade out of place,” Denny said. “This has got to be number one for the bucket list for me.”
It was also the course where Job’s buddy Zac Blair, who Job has caddied for at amateur events, made his major championship debut in the 2014 U.S. Open when he tied for 40th, so Blair’s been on speed dial this week for the Murray, Utah resident.
“He told me to hit shots to the middle of the greens, and to putt to the edges of the holes,” Job said.
Sounds simple enough, but this is Pinehurst and good putting figures to be crucial this week.
Ryan says his son’s big strength is putting, and as a caddie he will work with Denny on some of the reads if asked.
“I know his game, he’s a feel player so I don’t feel like I need to say a lot,” Ryan said. “He might pull me in to read some putts, only twice a round on average. He might ask me about a certain shot here or there but for the most part it’s all on him, and I’m just there for his support.”
Job ultimately wants to be a professional golfer like his buddy Blair, and he plays the game every day.
“He just loves golf,” Ryan said. “He’s like a gym rat for golfers, he just can’t put the clubs down.”
It’s such a passion for Denny that in past events they traveled together to Ryan would say, “let’s go to the beach or let’s go to Six Flags and he’d say, ‘no dad, I need to practice and hit balls.’”
Well that hard work is paying off now, and the Jobs began their week as the very last tee time off of Pinehurst No. 4’s 1st tee at 2:56 pm ET.