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19th Hole

The hole at Augusta that makes Lee Westwood’s caddie feel like ‘someone who smokes 60 cigarettes a day’

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The hilly terrain of Augusta National has been a frequent topic of conversation this Masters season. With Tiger Woods recovering from a leg injury, his biggest challenge this week is walking the course.

However, there are others who have expressed their discontent with walking the severely undulating fairways. Amongst them is Lee Westwood’s wife and caddie, Helen Westwood. Speaking to the Sun, she said she “feels like an 80-year-old” while carrying Lee’s clubs.

“Augusta is definitely the toughest course I’ve caddied on — and the thought of going up eight always fills me with absolute dread,” she said.

“Honestly, it slopes up at about a 45-degree angle the whole length of the hole,” she said. “I’m a fitness instructor but by the time I get to that green I’m totally out of breath. I feel like someone who smokes 60 cigarettes a day!”

“People don’t realize how hilly Augusta is, because you don’t get a proper perception of all the ups and downs from  TV. Before we start, I always go through the bag asking stuff like, ‘Do you really need this water bottle? There’s water on every tee’. We played a practice round recently with Shane Lowry and I lifted his bag and mine was much heavier. I’d swear Lee was hiding a couple of house bricks or a few iron weights in there if I didn’t check it so thoroughly.”

Helen has been caddying for Lee since 2018, after he gave his usual caddie Billy Foster a week off. She also spoke about how strange it was caddying during the 2020 Masters, where there were no fans at Augusta National.

“When I caddied in 2020 it just felt so eerie with no crowds,” she said. “When I’ve done it before you kind of know what’s going on all over the course, because of the famous Augusta roars. Even some of the groans are sometimes loud enough to hear, too. It’s nice to hear those crowd eruptions. So to hear nothing at all the whole way around was very odd. Almost spooky.”

“I suppose it’s probably worse for me, because I’ve become used to ­getting loads of interaction with the crowds. I get quite a few catcalls and the odd saucy comment — although not so much at Augusta, because they’re so polite. But 2020 was a very strange experience.”

Despite the 42 pound bag on her back, Helen still looks forward to The Masters every year.

“It is a lovely feeling, just pulling on that boiler suit. You feel like you are part of golfing history and it’s actually quite comfortable — as long as the weather isn’t too hot!”

Westwood shot an even par-72 in Thursday’s opening round, putting him a good position to play the weekend.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Joey5Picks

    Apr 12, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    If she thinks that’s bad, wait until she sees how she’s treated in Saudi Arabia.

  2. Gunter Eisenberg

    Apr 10, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    When I read the headline before reading the article I thought it would be the 8th hole that would give a person a heart attack. I was right.

  3. Bob

    Apr 8, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    Trashy. Good pick, Lee.

  4. Culebrón is Swift

    Apr 8, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    If I were hitting that hole everyday, I guess I would be smoking 60 cigarettes afterwards, lol….

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19th Hole

‘I think that’s a mistake’ – Brandel Chamblee questions surprise Luke Donald decision at Ryder Cup

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For the first time since 1993, the European team has chosen to open the Ryder Cup with Foursomes rather than Fourball.

When asked why he made the decision, European captain Luke Donald indicated that he wanted to get out to a “fast start”.

“It’s pretty simple really, we feel like as a team, statistically, we are stronger in foursomes within our team than we would be in fourballs.”

“Why not get off to a fast start? That’s it.”

However, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee has questioned the decision calling it a “mistake” on Golf Central.

“It is very important to win the first session from a momentum standpoint. But it’s significantly more important to lead after the first day. If you go back to 1997 to present, starting with fourballs allowed them to end with a strength on the first day, and mostly they’ve dominated in the foursomes.

“If you win the first session, you win the Ryder Cup about 60% of the time. But if you win the first day, you win 70% of the time. So in one fell swoop, he’s potentially thrown away a 10% chance, which is a monumental advantage given to the European side, and I think that’s a mistake.”

Team Europe shared their practice groups on Monday, giving a hint at what the potential pairings will be.

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19th Hole

Report: Solheim Cup star was dropped by captain on Friday afternoon for refusing to play with two of her teammates

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According to a report, Celine Boutier asked for a partner change after her partner, Georgia Hall, underperformed during morning session of the Solheim Cup on Friday.

Boutier and Hall lost to the United States pairing of Andrea Lee and Danielle Kang one up.

Apparently, the European team captain Suzann Petterson obliged the request, and offered to put the Frenchwoman with Leona Maguire in the afternoon, but Boutier didn’t like that pairing either.

The report indicates that after Boutier refused to play with Maguire, she was sat by Petterson for the afternoon session. It did seem odd that one of Europe’s best players sat in the afternoon session after going down 4-0 after foursomes.

The report comes from Handicap 54 on X, who has gotten some interesting scoops in the past. His initial report told a similar version of the story without names.

“Well, now I will give the names of this story. At the same time, I take this opportunity to clarify a detail that I explained poorly, but it is a detail that does not affect the fact. Why didn’t I tell them until now? I wanted to wait for the celebrations, and I wanted to wait for the Golf Sin Tags friends to say it (@gfcgolf and@alexlarrazabal1), who I knew had the same information and were on the course (I considered them to have priority).”

“The issue went like this: Céline Boutier, after Friday morning, asked Suzann Pettersen to play with someone other than Hall. Pettersen told [Boutier] that [s]he would play with Maguire (I explained that detail poorly) and Boutier refused. Therefore, Pettersen decided that Boutier would not play on that Friday afternoon.”

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Scottie Scheffler working with renowned putting coach following year of struggles on the green

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Scottie Scheffler is coming off one of the best ball striking seasons in the history of golf. The number one ranked player in the world had a solid season, coming away with both a PLAYERS Championship and a Waste Management Phoenix Open win. However, with the way he played from tee to green he would most certainly have liked to come away with a major or two.

For the season, the former Longhorn remarkably ranked 1st in Strokes Gained Total, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Strokes Gained: Approach. Unfortunately, he also ranked 151st in Strokes Gained: Putting.

After Scheffler arrived in Rome for this week’s Ryder Cup, he was seen on the putting green practicing with putting coach Phil Kenyon. Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis has since indicated that the duo began working together last week in Dallas, Texas.

Kenyon also works with Europe’s Tommy Fleetwood, so the dynamic of working with players on both Ryder Cup teams this week should be interesting to monitor.

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