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What its like to caddie in the same pairing as Tiger Woods? It is one wild ride.



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Woods’ caddie, LaCava, is well aware of the complications that come with playing in his group.

“The crowd’s always going to move when he putts out,” he said after the round. “Tiger’s pretty considerate that way. If he knows they’re going to move, he’ll mark it and wait most of the time. It’s just tough to control the crowd — even when we were playing with Rosie [Justin Rose, in the first two rounds] they were running around.”

While the first instinct may be to try to hold the mob in place, LaCava suggested that may not always be the best strategy.

“It depends what your guy wants,” he said “Some guys want you to try to stop the crowds if you can, but sometimes it’s more of a distraction if you’re screaming at the crowd and your guy is still trying to line up his three-footer. So it’s tough, but they get it. Most of the caddies are jacked up to get to play with Tiger.”

For his part, Mitchell felt like the greatest pressure came from himself.

“It wasn’t distracting. I was more distracted by myself because I wanted to play so good and I felt like my game was so good that I actually went the other direction,” he said. “I think it’s all personal…I think us young players that grew up watching Tiger, you want to play as well as you can.”

Woods made the turn at five under, canned a lengthy birdie putt at No. 11 and then poured in another at No. 12. He had hardly missed a shot; if anything, he had squandered birdie looks at Nos. 9 and 10. At that point, Mitchell said, he started worrying that he was delaying play, disrupting a rally.

The kid knew it. 😏 @TigerWoods is making buckets.#LiveUnderPar

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 2, 2019

He’s walking in putts.

The fans are going nuts.@TigerWoods is T4 @MemorialGolf.#LiveUnderPar

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 2, 2019

“I felt like I got in the way after 12, when he made that putt on 11 and I hit it in the water, I thought I hit it in the bunker,” Mitchell said. His subsequent walk-back and drop led to a short delay, although Woods made his putt anyway. “I think it was No. 12 or 13, I was like, I’ll chip this on the green and make a putt and just go to the next hole,” Mitchell continued. Through 13 holes, he was 12 shots down to Woods. He couldn’t help but be in awe.

“He didn’t miss a shot. I mean, it was — I felt like I hit it good the first three days and wasn’t even close to that.”

The two were playing different golf courses, which meant there wasn’t a ton of room for interaction between caddies. “They struggled, obviously, so I didn’t see a whole lot of them,” LaCava said. “Pete was getting a bunker and I was doing whatever — twosomes you’re always running, anyway. We didn’t get a lot of conversations, but it happens.”

Mitchell and Woods had slightly more chance for interaction. “Him and Keith, they talked a handful of times, and you could tell they were laughing, so that was cool,” Persolja said. “I guarantee Tiger was a big influence on Keith…” He paused. “There he goes.” Woods was zipping by in his courtesy car, Stanford-stamped travel bag in the trunk, headed home. It took Persolja a moment to collect his thoughts. “He really has this presence. It’s cool.”

Woods wavered as Mitchell righted the ship coming home. Mitchell birdied 18, while Woods made bogey, cutting the deficit for the day to nine shots, Woods’ 67 to Mitchell’s 76.

“I felt like my attitude was incredible for shooting four over. Normally I would have been screaming and hollering and slamming my clubs,” Mitchell said. “You don’t do that in front of these crowds and you don’t do that in front of Tiger.”

So, big-picture, what’s it like, caddying alongside Tiger Woods?

“It was a special treat,” Persolja said. “Next time we get paired with Tiger I’m not going to be like ‘Shoot!’ I’m going to be like ‘Hell yeah!’ I super-enjoyed it.”

What its like to caddie in the same pairing as Tiger Woods? It is one wild ride. was originally posted at by Dylan Dethier


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