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Caddy Races banned from WM Phoenix Open

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And they’re off!

No, really, they’re off. In “you’re gonna poke someone’s eye out” motherly fashion, the PGA Tour has banned the caddy races.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has been donned “The Greatest Show on Grass.” The climax of the show occurs at the par-3 No. 16, which resembles more of a fraternity tailgate party than a golf event. It’s standing room only with 20,000-plus sports fans packed into stadium seating and skyboxes surrounding the 162-yard hole. They spend the day drinking beers, making bets and cheering on the competitors.

In recent years, fans began gambling on which players’ caddy will reach the putting surface first. This led to caddies, lugging 45-plus pound golf bags, running from the elevated teeing area through grass and desert sand to the green trying to beat their fellow loopers. It was a scene unlike any other.

In a game built upon reverence and respect, it’s fun to see grown men acting like kids. However, the adolescent behavior from the spectators, players and caddies caused an unsettled feeling in the not-so-pleased, over-protective parents.

[youtube id=”Wb4EWPybZjo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

A caddy, who was in the lead in one of the 2013 races, tripped over a grass hill and took a tumble. The golf bag and clubs flipped over his body, and the two other caddies sprinted past him. Rowdy fans cheered and jeered as the caddy somersaulted.

[youtube id=”F0MJGLZEHMo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

The PGA Tour, however, apparently wasn’t amused and has prohibited the contest.

The tournament host itself showed nothing but support for the comical tradition. It even developed an app where the fans can guess which caddy would prevail in each group. The fan with the most correct guesses would earn tickets to the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The caddy races have been outlawed, but you can bet the 20,000 inebriated fans will come up with another juvenile game to gamble on.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Troy

    Aug 16, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Come on PGA, Loosen the top button and breathe. For a sport that is diminishing and tends to put TV viewers asleep on Sunday afternoons; you might be taking away the one venue that some non die hard golf fans enjoy. Put down the fine China and 100 year aged bottle. Grab a few bud lights and some buddies and go have fun!

  2. Kevin

    Aug 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Cmon PGA… let the caddies decide. God forbid we get any fun traditions happening in USA golf other than a green jacket…

  3. Rich

    Aug 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

    let’em run for Fun!

  4. Randy

    Aug 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Sounds like somebody’s momma is worried that her waddle marsmewwo could get hurt and no one would be there to tiss his boo boo. Or her boy lost and its not fair that some one can run faster. Talk about WUSSIFYING something fun ya panzies.

  5. Jhm

    Aug 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    So they give out (few) penalties for slow play, and now they outlaw fast play….
    Seriously, “mashed potatoes” is a far worse issue.

  6. Brenden Grant

    Aug 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Hey: i just think the tour is like the rest of society today in that they are being very protective so they won’t have to pay out for medical or law suite if a caddie or two get’s injured. It should be do it at your own rist policy. Thanks

  7. ndog

    Aug 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Smart move PGA! Piss off an angry mob!

  8. J

    Aug 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Yea! Great idea!

    Get rid of fun.

    Kudos PGA… All the screaming on tee boxes and your focused on getting rid of a simple foot race….

    • DB

      Aug 13, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Agreed J. The WM is that one event all year that is completely different. Having been there once it is more like a rock concert more than a golf tournament. That being said I think there are alot of players that love playing in it. Not a fan of banning the caddie races. I guess the PGA tour’s philosophy is if you can’t beat um join um. Instead of fighting the anchoring ban, they ban caddie races. Time to grow a backbone. They are the biggest presence in the game, not the USGA or PGA of america. Grow the game! Pull the stick’s out of your…

  9. Arthur J

    Aug 13, 2013 at 8:34 am

    As per the comment above, in a rather more serious tone, the Tour does need to sort out all the shouting milliseconds after impact.

    Get the focus right.

    P.s. reading in the news on the East side of the pond that the PGA Tour are seriously looking to take over in Europe – personally I think this is a great idea (even as a European) and would be interested in any GolfWRX insider knowledge on the subject?

    We have so many great courses, players and fans willing to support events over here where more big names are present, I think it can only be a good thing. A bit like creating a World Golf Super Tour, getting rid of some ho-hum events in the States and making most Tour weeks equivalent to WGC or Major fields.

  10. Danny

    Aug 13, 2013 at 7:51 am

    This is a slippery slope. Next thing we know they are going to try to ban Baba Booooey!!!

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Tour News

5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

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Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Spotted at Shinnecock: #RVLife, superb staff bags, stellar stampings

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We’re on the famed grounds of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for the second major of the year. With the U.S. Open returned to such a visually and historically rich venue, it may be a bit tough to focus on equipment.

Nevertheless, we spotted some cool stuff, Tuesday, as the players move ever closer to the second major of th eyear.

Let’s get to the photos.

#RVLife propronent, Jason Day’s putter cover is incredible.

Michael Greller displays an essential caddie skill…

Face of Tiger’s wedge. Do these look like standard TaylorMade MG grooves to you?

Greatest side panel on a bag ever?

Who isn’t happy to see “Woods” on USGA tournament signage?

Shintaro Ban’s unique dot stamping is, well, money.

A look at the Bridgestone U.S. Open staff bag and headcovers.

Kenny Perry: Still gaming R7 irons.

Scott Gregory with some solid wedge stamping.

What is this lead taped and war torn beauty?

All our photos from Tuesday

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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