Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ernie Els Makes Super Strange Decision with Caddie


This is going to surprise you, but Ricci Roberts doesn't have a Wikipedia page. It appears that unless you once caddied for Tiger Woods (or Tom Watson), your past history doesn't really matter to the general public.

But Ricci Roberts (according to my research with Getty Images) has been with Ernie Els since 2002, taking some time with Thomas Bjorn, Lee Westwood, and most recently Charl Schwartzel in 2007, but mostly sticking with the Big Easy. He was on the bag for both wins this season, but will not be with Ernie when he makes the trip to Augusta National in two weeks.

Earlier this month (h/t to @nothreeputt) it was reported that Els would be going with another caddie, but Roberts was hoping he'd still get a chance to be with Ernie at the Masters.

“You never know, I might get that call for Augusta now,” Roberts said with a hopeful chuckle in the aftermath of the victory.

But that isn't the case. Els will be taking former NHL player Dan Quinn to Augusta, a man that was on the bag at this year's Sony Open and Northern Trust. Els played fine at both events (t-10, t-12), but he didn't win, and that is the big red flag. For the past two seasons we've seen Els get close. He hasn't been able to pull it together and now that he has, he's switching up the process that got him there.

The decision is strange to say the least. They might have decided on split time before the season started between caddies, but when a recipe is working, you don't just toss two more cups of sugar in it to try and spice it up.

Ernie said the decision doesn't bother him because, "I don't think anybody can tell me anything more about Augusta than I already know," but that seems like he is selling his caddies short. It's more than just letting you know about the wind on 12. Having a caddie you trust in the clutch is one of the most underrated tools a golfer can carry. You've heard about the 12th man at Texas A&M ... a good caddie is easily a 15th club in the bag.

It seems Ernie doesn't realize this, and it might cost him at Augusta.

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