Caddie blog: Reflecting on Oakmont
Greg Robertson is the associate head coach at Purdue and is caddying for Maria Hernandez at the U.S. Women’s Open. He played college golf at Oklahoma State.
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What a wonderful week at the U.S. Women’s Open! As I reflect back on the last eight days, here are some of the moments that stick out in my mind.
Biggest surprise of the week (for Maria): When my sister Jo Jo (the former assistant coach at Purdue when Maria was in college) showed up to watch the tournament without Maria knowing she was going to be there. They’ve been very good friends since Maria’s college days, and this was the first time Jo Jo had watched her play as a professional.
Best moment of the week (for Maria): Spain winning the World Cup!
Happiest moments: Talking to my two-and-a-half-year-old son each night before he went to bed. He was so excited that, in his words, “Maria was playing in daddy’s golf tournament”.
Biggest coincidence: When Coach Devon Brouse showed up at the golf course on Wednesday wearing the exact shirt and pair of shorts that I had on from last year’s team uniform.
Scariest moments: It’s a toss-up between the lighting bolt that appeared to flash over the golf course just minutes after play was suspended on Friday and Maria’s driving on those small roads with so many hills, turns and bends to and from the golf course each day. Oh, and every putt we had to read on those greens!
Most disappointing moment: The fact that we had a $50 gift certificate to Morton’s Steakhouse that we never had the opportunity to use.
Most miserable moment: My duffel bag didn’t come in with my flight Sunday night, so I had to caddy all day on Monday in 95 degree heat with the same clothes that I wore to church the day before......button-down shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. Thank goodness the shirt was short-sleeve.
Two moments I’d like to have back: 1. Coming off two birdies in a row, Maria decided to hit a 5-wood for her second shot to the 18th green during the second round. I knew there was a chance it could be long, and over the green was absolutely “dead.” Even though she seemed confident with the club she picked, I should have stepped in to hand her the hybrid. She ended up hitting it over the green and made a double bogey. 2. After playing very solid and standing at even par through the first 11 holes during the final round, Maria hit her third shot up against the high collar around the green on the 12th hole. My initial thought was that the best shot would be to blade a wedge. But she was very quick to play her fourth shot and appeared to want to chip it. Instead of slowing her down to talk about the shot, I let her go ahead and hit it, and she only moved the ball about six inches. This resulted in a double bogey as well. I still get an uneasy feeling thinking about those two moments, because both times it just killed the momentum she was gaining. As a caddie, I was definitely at fault, and blame myself for those two instances.
Toughest moments: Coming up with material to write for the blog each night, since this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!