AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The roars were back on Saturday, but the rainy weather made caddying a challenge. It was moving day, so what's the difference between when you're the guy making the move or the guy watching the move being made? And, most importantly, what's the plan going into Sunday? I get the inside scoop in our latest Caddie Confidential.
The curse of the heavier golf bag
Question from Collins: How did conditions change the golf course Saturday?
Caddie: It really didn't; everything played almost the exactly same. It wasn't softer because it really didn't rain much [when we were out there]. Got a little bit of rain, but it didn't do anything to change the golf course.
Collins: Someone asked me how much heavier the golf bag is with all the rain gear.
Caddie: Easily 10 or 15 pounds [heavier]. Extra towels, rain gear, all the stuff to help your man keep his hands dry.
Collins: Explain to people how much heavier the umbrella makes the bag, even though the people not carrying the bags swear they only weigh two pounds.
Caddie: That's two pounds over a six-mile hike, so it adds up. Yeah, the umbrella is more of a pain because that takes away one of your hands, one of your arms. Then you only have one other hand to do everything else.
Collins: I always hated when it would rain a little and then stop because the player would want to put the wet gear back in the bag.
Caddie: You try your hardest to convince your guy, "Hey just keep it on. It's gonna rain again so just ... [Starts laughing.] Don't be that on-again, off-again guy. And it looks great on you! Keep it on."
Weather, and the course
Collins: Which hole played the most different today?
Caddie: Well, No. 4 because they had the tee up. [On Thursday and Friday, it was 240 yards; Saturday, it was 180.] No. 15 was into the wind today. We hit 3-wood in today. The first two days, we hit 5 iron. The hardest part about today was that the wind didn't come from one direction and it didn't come from the direction it was forecast, so you are guessing what to do out there.
Collins: Which for a caddie is terrifying.
Caddie: It's a caddie killer, for sure.
Collins: Was there a hole that played relatively easy today?
Caddie: No. 12 played easy because we caught it when there was no wind.
Collins: What's the vibe like Saturday on the golf course?
Caddie: You're trying to put yourself in position. You just have to pick and choose when you can be aggressive. You have to be so patient around this golf course, but you're trying to find ways to move up the leaderboard and put yourself in a position for Sunday to have a good week. If you're not in contention to still try and get a later tee time, get up the leaderboard to where you can make a move and have a good finish.
Collins: Why is it that, after a round, no one leaves right away? Caddies and even some players all hang in the caddie area for a while.
Caddie: Well, the food's good in here.
Collins: What's your favorite?
Caddie: Chicken tenders and fries. Hands down. And the sweet tea is amazing. The atmosphere in here is very chill and laid back. You hang out here and watch the tournament on TV.
Collins: It seems like everyone comes in here to kind of decompress.
Caddie: Yes, for sure. You've mentally been grinding out there for 4½-to-5 hours, so you come in here to not have to think, turn your brain off for a little bit ... if you stop thinking out there [on the course], you're going to make bogey or worse.
Collins: When you're on the course and see a guy making a crazy run up the leaderboard, what's that like here?
Caddie: It's two-fold. One, you can look at it as, "Sheesh, it was out there and we didn't take advantage of it." Or, it gives you the confidence of, "Hey, it can be done." So, you kind of have the confidence of, "Well, we can go out and do that tomorrow." Because I know, if [the other guy's] doing it, then we can do it.
Looking ahead to Sunday
Collins: What will be the hardest thing about this Sunday at the Masters?
Caddie: The hardest thing about any day out here is not to get too ahead of yourself, not pressing when you don't need to. Say you make a bogey or a couple bogeys in a row, you tend to try and hit it closer and take more chances when you don't really need to. You still have to stick to your game plans; don't vary from it and just stay patient. That's really hard to do around here.
Collins: If there's one hole you're not looking forward to Sunday, which one is it?
Caddie: No. 4. I just don't like that hole. I just don't like that hole. [Yeah, he said it twice.]
Collins: It's an evil par 3.
Caddie: It's a very difficult par 3.
Collins: If there's one hole that's "fun" to a caddie, which one is it?
Caddie: The walk up to 18 on Sunday is pretty cool. The crowd all around the green, especially if you're a little bit later. I've been lucky enough to work for some players who were in the second-to-last group or the third-to-last group on Sunday, and that walk up 18 is pretty cool.
Collins: Forget the players for a minute. Which part of the day/course is it most important for the caddie to stay on top of -- when would you have to give yourself a kick in the butt?
Caddie: Mentally or physically?
Collins: Mentally. Because plenty of people talk about players having lulls on the course. What about caddies? Where do you have to mentally buckle down at Augusta National?
Caddie: I would say holes 7-12 are a tough stretch of holes. The second shot on Nos. 9-11 is the toughest stretch of having to get everything perfect; because, if you misread the wind, that second shot on 9 is really hard. You're hitting from a low spot up to an elevated green. It's hard to get the wind right. The green sits at a funny angle.
Collins: Does a "crash" ever happen, say after the 12th hole?
Caddie: No, I think you get through 12 and you're like, the rest of the round feels "easy" almost, because you feel like you have birdie opportunities. You get a little adrenaline rush.