The Grateful Golfer takes an alternative look at this year’s Masters at Augusta.
This years Masters ended in dramatic fashion. Adam Scott defeated Angel Cabrera on the second playoff hole. Both pros played awesome down the stretch; each responding in kind to the others knockout punch. Ultimately and ironically, Adam Scott one-putted his last three holes after struggling all day with the flat stick to walk away with the green jacket. This win will elevate Adam Scott into an elusive group of major winners, but did he actually do it alone?
The conditions of the last round were atypical for the Masters. The course was wet, slow and soft because of the relentless rain. Each player had to navigate through the constant changes of wind, break on the green, speed of the greens and being soaked for two and a half hours. However, both players still excelled due to their team. Yes, team!
Professional golf is a team sport. Of course the golfer is the focal point, but there is always that guy in the background providing advice, clubs, water, telling the crowd to calm down, keeping the player calm, keeping the player dry, keeping the equipment dry or just encouraging his player to succeed. Of course, like a pit crew in auto racing, they are the behind the scene masters who are extremely important to team success.
Today during the final round, Steve Williams (Adam Scott’s caddie) and Angel Cabrera Jr. (son and caddie of Angel Cabrera) earned their money. Throughout the entire telecast, the caddies were heard providing expert advice regarding the impact of weather on the player’s game. They worked tirelessly ensuring all outside influences were kept to a minimum. The results were obvious! These caddies were enablers and outstanding team members in the final round of this year’s Masters.
On the other side of the coin, where was Guan Tianlang’s caddie during the slow play incident? In this case, the caddie may not have performed to his optimum. When a golfer at the Masters (especially a 14-year old amateur) is assessed a one-stroke penalty for slow play, maybe the caddie could have monitored the time a little closer. Another example would be Tiger Woods’ caddie who watched him drop the ball counter to the rules; this oversight lead to a two-stroke penalty before the start of the third round. These examples did not affect the outcome of the tournament, but it does highlight how every member of the golf team is important.
A professional golf caddie is critical to the success of any professional golfer. They provide so many facets to the game that are not measurable. If you think they are not important, ask players like Phil Mickelson who have hand the same caddie since 1992. Without question Phil Mickelson would say he owes much of his success to his long time caddie and friend Jim “Bones” Mackay. The professional caddie is a friend, peer, mentor, swing analyst, body-guard and sometimes butt-kicker. They are the silent partner and make up the other half of any great professional golfing team.
Sports is Everything! The Grateful Golfer.
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