The Caddie Blog: Despite loss, a great experience

Paul Richards caddied for George Zahringer at the USGA Senior Amateur at The Beverly Country Club in Chicago. Richards filed daily reports for Golfweek.com detailing his experience on the bag and inside the ropes.

George was beaten by Michael Walters, 2 and 1, this afternoon in the Round of 16.

I think this morning’s victory took a lot out of George. It was a really, really draining experience to have to shoot 66 to win, and it seems he left it all out on the course.

Unfortunately, George came out flat this afternoon. He went 1 up on the sixth with a par and then handed it back on the seventh by leaving his uphill 5-footer 6 inches short. He birdied No. 8 to go 1 up, only to have Walters birdie No. 9 to even the match. George shot even par on the front nine, but never seemed to get it close enough to have makeable birdie putts.

This trend continued on the back nine. They halved No. 10 with pars, and at 11, George made a nifty up-and-down to tie Walters, who missed his birdie putt. After No. 12 was halved, George hit his first really wayward drive into the left trees. His 5-iron approach ran over and left him an impossible chip shot, which he got on the green. His missed his par putt and conceded Walters’ par putt to go 1 down. It was the first time that he had been down during the whole tournament.

Halves at Nos. 14-16 left us up against the wall. Walters knocked it on at the par-3 17th and George found the left bunker. Walters putted it close enough for a concession and George was left with an 18-footer to continue the match. I felt confident that he would make it, then win the 18th and go on to extra holes. George hit a good putt, but just like many other putts this round, it slid by on the low side and missed. Walters advanced into the quarterfinals.

George said after the round that it’s tough to win when you shoot over par.

Overall, it was a tremendous experience spending eight rounds with George. He is a really great guy. I learned a lot from him - how to prepare, how to hit certain shots and how to handle yourself in match play.

A great champion will be crowned Thursday at Beverly. Sadly, I won’t be on the bag.

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