A few weeks ago Lee Janzen asked me to caddie for him and not for
Olin Browne, my regular bag, at this week's Greater Hartford
Open. Janzen is one of the guys who calls the event the Greater
Harmon Open because I've won it with three players: In 1992 I
guided Lanny Wadkins to his last Tour title; in '96 I was on D.A.
Weibring's bag when he won; and two years ago I was the guy
jumping up and down by the 18th green when Olin chipped in to win
a playoff with Stewart Cink and Larry Mize.
The secret to my success in Hartford? I never let my boss try to
drive the 15th, a tricky 296-yard par-4. Olin is a terrific
driver, but even in practice rounds I won't let him touch his
Each of my victories was special for a different reason. Lanny
started the final round five shots behind Donnie Hammond, but
Lanny was cocky, and he discounted many of the guys in front of
him because he thought they'd get scared when he got hot. Sure
enough, Lanny started knocking down pins on the back nine, and
he raced by them all. D.A. was battling Bell's palsy, had played
awful that year and wanted to quit golf. On Sunday, he drove
into a fairway bunker on the 17th hole, a par-4 with water. He
asked how far he should hit his layup shot to take the water out
of play. "You're the best bunker player I know, and you're not
laying up," I told him. He nailed the approach and won by four
The victory I feel the best about is Olin's. He had just turned
39 and had never won on Tour. Olin almost chipped in to win
on the final hole of regulation, and in the playoff his wayward
approach to 18 gave him a similar chip, from the valley to the
right of the green. I told Olin, "The only thing we can do any
better this time is to make it," and that's what he did.
This week at the TPC at River Highlands, I'll be working for Olin
and hoping to complete a Hartford grand slam.
Mike Harmon, 51, has won 10 times in 16 years as a Tour caddie.