My heart bleeds for Myles Byrne, who has nowhere to hide after
committing the most heinous caddie crime--allowing more than 14
clubs in the bag. The infraction wasn't a fluke; stuff like that
happens every week. During a Hawaiian Open in the mid-'80s,
Curtis Strange was playing with Don Pooley. On the 8th hole Rick
Hippenstiel, Don's looper, mistakenly walked to Curtis's ball,
and Curtis's man went to Don's. Don hit Curtis's ball, and Curtis
On the green, after the error had been discovered, Curtis blamed
Rick and gave him an Ivory tongue-lashing. Fast forward to the
flight home. Rick saw Curtis searching for his seat and yelled,
"Yo, Curtis. Bet you hit the wrong seat too."
One of my worst screwups happened at the 1996 Nissan Open with
Ben Crenshaw. After pushing a drive on the 11th hole, Ben punched
across the fairway into a ditch with thick rough. He wedged out,
then slapped a three-wood onto the green. When Ben flipped me the
ball, I freaked, thinking, This baby's yellow! The ball had been
there for five years, minimum. Ben was slapped with a two-stroke
penalty and went ballistic. "You've got to be s------- me!" he
screamed. That's the loudest he ever cursed.
Linn Strickler, a.k.a. Growler, is a veteran Tour caddie.