The last hurrah

9 07 2010
Brian makes his par putt at #18 in Round 2.

Knock it in, B!

It’s Friday, so that means it’s crunch time at the Dakota Dunes Casino Open here in sunny Saskatchewan. Brian had a decent round yesterday – a two under par 70 – but the scoring was so good that he’s only just inside the cut line. That means that by the time we tee off today, at 1:30, the cut is likely to have moved to 3 or 4 under and the pressure will be on to produce another sub par round. Pressure is obviously something you have to live with if you you want to play professional golf and having missed two cuts in a row Brian is clearly feeling it more than most, but his laid back personality certainly gives the impression that he’ll just take whatever life gives him and come up smiling. Of course not all pros are quite so phlegmatic: yesterday evening a fellow competitor – euphoric a couple of days ago because he had played his way into the event via the dreaded Monday qualifier – stormed into the parking lot after his round to announce “That’s it. Tomorrow’s my last round of professional golf. I’m not putting up with this bull$hit anymore”.
Brian’s buddy Clay was in better humour, having shot a 5 under par 67, and offered to make me a trailer park special for supper instead of heading up to the casino for yet another something and fries. While we ate Clay talked about his family in Minnesota, with whom he’s obviously very close, and how tough it is to be away from home and trying to make ends meet. He’d won $375 for a KP in the pro am on Tuesday and was feeling guilty about not giving some of it back to the charity that the event is sponsoring. On the other hand, as he said, he probably needed it more than they did. “Like just about every pro out here”, agreed Brian.
As planned all along, this will be my last event for Brian this season. My daughter is having a baby in about three weeks time – our first grandchild – and there is no way that I’m going to risk not being around for the great event. Brian will be heading on to Winnipeg for the next Canadian Tour event and then has to grapple with the logistics of getting to Ontario in time to play in the qualifier for the Canadian PGA Open. I’ll be heading in the opposite direction, back to the Comox Valley. The only question is, will I be leaving on Sunday evening or will I be on my way tonight? I’m surprisingly nervous about the possibility of my caddying adventure coming to a sudden end…

I haven’t written anything about boo boos that I’ve made in the last few rounds, because there haven’t been any. Not that I’ve become the world’s greatest caddie – Steve Williams’ job with Tiger is safe for the moment – but Brian and I have settled into a routine where we follow the same procedure prior to each shot and it seems to work. Brian has an interesting view of caddies, one shared by Clay as we ate his trailer park special last night – delicious, by the way, and consisting of a mish mash of whatever we could find in our collective fridges, plus beer – and it is this: “If a caddie is not actually annoying you during the round then he’s doing an OK job”. By these low standards I would claim that I’ve reached the dizzy heights of doing an OK job. It was interesting yesterday, first caddying for Brian and then walking with Clay on his back nine, to watch the other caddies – none of whom had ever caddied before. (It’s not easy to get 156 qualified caddies to come to a course that is 30 minutes away from the nearest town). In the morning I had somehow risen to the rank of lead caddie, picking up dropped towels, reminding the others not to stand directly behind their player when he’s making a shot and, most important of all, choreographing the flag dance. Next time you watch a PGA Tour event on TV keep an eye on the caddies as they pass the flagstick around while the players are putting out – it’s quite a subtle procedure, but always follows the same pattern. See if you can unravel it!

Anyway, Brian’s warming up on the range and I have to make sure we have an adequate supply of tees, pin sheets, fruit and water before we head for the practice putting green and on to the first tee. As you can probably tell, I’ve been very impressed with the ability of all the players out here as well as their tenacity in trying to make their professional dreams come true. Let’s see if Brian can do the business this afternoon and keep my own caddying dream going for another couple of days before I change my persona of Bagger Dave into the somewhat different but, I guess, more socially responsible role of … Grandpa Dave.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my posts over the last six months or so, and good luck to Big B for the rest of the season. He’s a class act and deserves success. No doubt I’ll be posting the occasional update on things golf from time to time, but until then…

All da best!

Dave B.

Update: Brian made two birdies in the space of three holes on the back nine to get to 4 under par, but then narrowly missed a fifteen foot birdie putt on #18. As we walked off the green the scoreboard changed: cut – 5 under. An hour later the bad news was confirmed – Brian had missed the cut by a single shot. True to form, Brian took it like the gentleman he is. We shook hands, he paid me (generously) for my services this week and I started out on the long road home while Brian set about getting himself ready for Winnipeg next week. As always, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for him – and hoping a new caddie makes all the difference!

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6 responses

9 07 2010
Martin

Hi Dave,
Just wanted to thank you for the pleasurable reading you’ve been providing in your blog. I too hope that Brian makes it this time. By the time you read this, his fate, for this weekend will probably have been decided. Either way, have a safe trip home and take care of yourself. Wow! What a great few weeks you have to look forward to the birth of your grandchild. Super!
Cheers,
m
Martin

10 07 2010
Bagger Dave

Thank you, Martin. Sorry to say that Brian shot 2 under par again today, but missed the cut by a single shot. Typical of his luck, he rolled a 15 foot birdie putt over the edge of the hole on the 18th. Couldn’t have been closer!

I’m now on my way home – marooned in Edmonton actually, with clutch problems – but all will be sorted out on Monday and I’ll be home soon after that.

Thanks for your support with the blog, Martin. I’ve really enjoyed writing it and it’s nice to know a few people like reading it.

Cheers.

Dave

9 07 2010
Kate

Hey dad – I’ll try to give you a month off before you take on the role of Grandpa (Grumps) Dave. I may even permit you access to a bathroom/shower facility at our house when you come to stay with mum in the van (in exchange for babysitting of course). Look forward to seeing you back in BC soon. Perhaps you can try to win the Heineken cup back from your son-in-law TJ on the Salt Spring Links (although you might need to squeeze in a couple of practice rounds first)!

10 07 2010
Bagger Dave

Hope to see you soon, Smuds – minor hiccup on the van front but all will hopefully be sorted on Monday. I’ve loved being a caddie, but I’m going to love being grumps even more!

Dad

17 07 2010
Mike Brooker

English time is 6.00 pm.on 17th July 2010.

Hello darling. I am now at Michael and Julie’s. You will find this very difficult to read as Leanne and her two young children are racing around and I am finding it
difficult to concentrate. Do you remember how pathetic I was on your computer? I had a very good journey here. On Monday Grig is coming over to take me to Judy,where I will stay until next Saturday. The weather is sunny at the moment,and Michael’s garden and pond look beautiful.
Speak later. Love you loads.
Mummie. xxx

17 07 2010
Bagger Dave

Mother! I love you too, but this is supposed to be a golf blog and not a forum for discussing Mike’s pond, Leanne’s noisy children or where you’re going on Saturday. Can you not at least mention the British Open or something?

Love you lots.

Davis

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