Nick Flanagan, Aron Price swap player/caddie roles at U.S. Open

Nick Flanagan, Aron Price swap player/caddie roles at U.S. Open

PGA Tour

Nick Flanagan, Aron Price swap player/caddie roles at U.S. Open

ERIN, Wis. – Nick Flanagan and Aron Price swapped roles at the 117th U.S. Open. One year after Flanagan caddied for Price at Oakmont, Price is returning the favor at Erin Hills.

“We know each other’s attitudes really well,” said Flanagan, “which I think is the big one, like, if you can get in someone else’s head.”

The Australian pair have known each other for 15 years. Flanagan caddied for Price when he qualified for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and was an obvious choice to use again at Oakmont, site of Flanagan’s 2003 U.S. Amateur victory. When the role was reversed, Price was quick to say he could return the favor.

“He went all the way through everyone he knew …” Price joked.

Actually, Flanagan said Price was the first person that came to mind. This marks Flanagan’s first U.S. Open start since the 2004 staging at Shinnecock, where he missed the cut.

Wrist and back injuries had plagued Flanagan in recent years, but for the first time in a long time he has been able to play a good deal of “fun golf” back in San Antonio and play freely. Nothing too technical.

At the U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, Flanagan shot 68-63 to clinch his first major start in 12 years after the 2005 British Open. 

“That’s what I’ve been trying to do all year,” said Flanagan, “is trying to be a little be more automatic.”

Tough to do on a championship test like Erin Hills, where big numbers lurk at every turn.

Perhaps Flanagan can take a page from what he learned looping last year at Oakmont. The game looks a lot easier without the emotional attachments that come with swinging the golf club.

Flanagan turned 33 on June 13, and it’s safe to assume there’s no place else he’d rather celebrate than inside the ropes at another U.S. Open. 

Especially since this time, he’s the one calling all the shots.

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