Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Camilo Villegas' Caddie Is Good At Golf
We all have a friend or two like Brett Waldman. Okay, maybe not exactly like Waldman, a guy who caddies for Camilo Villegas, and also has made it through pre-qualifying, first and second stage of PGA Tour Q-School, making him one of only nine guys to go through all three of those stages to make it to the December 1 final stage. But we all have that friend that can go out, pick up a golf club after not swinging it for a decade, and shoot a 72.
Waldman did just that. His story is pretty incredible, but after getting through pre-qualifying after just one practice round, and practicing to get himself through first stage, the caddie had to fly to China to work with Villegas. After that, he came home and played second stage just 18 hours after he landed from the HSBC Champions.
Ready for a great quote by Phil Mickelson's caddie, Jim Mackay?
"When I come back from China, I can't tie my shoes for a week," said Jim "Bones" Mackay, who works for Phil Mickelson. "And this guy makes it through the second stage of Q-school. Unbelievable."
Waldman has received a ton of support from his fellow loopers on tour. Lance Bennett, caddie for Matt Kuchar, has been on his bag for both stages, and said, "Some of these guys who do it for a living, they play and practice all year through. He picks his clubs up for one month and gets to the final stage."
Tiger Woods' caddie Steve Williams heard of Waldman's play in the second stage and sent him encourage text messages after each round. Three other high profile caddies were all in the gallery of the final round of second stage to root Waldman on. Even Villegas, who might be out an employee come January if Waldman continues to play well, has been encouraging, telling him he must play if he qualifies high enough at the final stage.
Also, it's just one of those stories that proves the kind of talent that you don't hear about. I remember an incredible quote from Craig Stadler years back that went like this:
"You see the guy next to you? And the guy next to him? Everyone of them, All-Americans. There's an NCAA Champion, a U.S. Amateur champion, a British Open champion -- hell, some of these caddies were All-Americans. So just so you know, nobody here gives a damn if you're an All-American, or if you even to college at all. All anybody here here wants to know ... can you play stick?"
Waldman can play stick, and hopefully, he will keep it up at third stage, and continue a dream run that started way back at pre-qualifying, with every hack that thinks he's good enough to be a pro. Waldman obviously is, and if he can keep it together for six rounds in December, it might be him that's looking for a worker to carry his bag next season.