Steve Williams who has caddied the victor of 15 Majors has written a controversial book in which he refers to Tiger Woods treating him like a slave. He is back on the bag of Adam Scott this Thursday at Augusta, controversially so as the Aussie has won two USPGA events already with a different caddy but the agreement was he (Williams) would be the man for the majors.
The value of a good caddy was never more apparent when Jim Herman won the Houston Open last Sunday. Ranked 106 in the world, he ran the club shop on a Trump course but the Presidential candidate counselled him to do his business on the course. He went into the eighteenth on the last day one stroke ahead of the Swede Henrik Stensen. Stensen had to sink a 17 foot putt to birdie but missed the line. Herman need a par four to win and was transparently a bag of nerves, fiddling with his scorecard and physically agitated. God knows what was going through his head as he waited 10 minutes on the tee. The caddy steadied him carefully showed him the line and did virtually everything but take the shot. Herman drove low and true and crucially avoided all danger. His second took him on the green and he calmly two putted to win. I had backed Stensen each way so I was no supporter but one of the attractions of the Pargie Max bet plan was I could feel as much for the rookie winner as Steve Palmer does for himself when he misses out narrowly on a bag ( bag of sand – thousand).
And so to Augusta. All the old Champions and US PGA winners get invited but no Tiger nor Olazabal nor Fred Couples this time. With 89 entrants – by far the lowest for a major – you can eliminate half and only two have been debutant winners, Horton Smith at the very first and Fuzzy Zoeller in 1969. I’m going Southern Hemisphere on my stake plan: Schwartzel, Ootshuizen and Grace from South Africa, Scott and Day from Australia. No Jordan Spieth as he is unconvincing this year no Rory Mcilroy as he is not in total control of his game. Of the Americans Ricky Fowler has a consistent major performance level, Bubba Watson is a two-time winner and surely big hitting DJ Johnson must finally come good and win a Major? DJ messed up his final putt at the U.S. Open and though he recovers well from errors, he should not make so many. Steve Palmer always identifies a key characteristic in his course low down e.g. power or accuracy but the man who wears the green jacket this Sunday will be the person who makes the fewest errors.