Sage Valley: Sigg shucks caddie suit to chase title
PHOTOS: Junior Invitational (Thursday)
We take you inside the ropes at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley on Thursday.
GRANITEVILLE, S.C. – Every caddie in the Sage Valley shack wanted Greyson Sigg’s bag this week, but neither Sigg nor looper Bernard Dent know exactly how they ended up together. Neither had a say in the partnership, but as veteran caddie Dent noted, it could be a fairly easy week.
Call Sigg, an 18-year-old from Augusta, Ga., the most knowledgeable player in the 54-man field at the Junior Invitational. Sigg has been caddieing at Sage Valley since 2009. He’s mostly needed for an influx of play during Masters week, but the club also has his number for the member-guest event.
Sigg is a stocky Georgia commit with brown curls sticking out from under his ball cap and a boat load of southern charm. As he walked to the first tee Thursday morning for his final look at the course before the tournament starts, he acknowledged several men in white jumpsuits. As a fellow member of his competitor-am group put his opening tee shot in pine straw left of the first fairway, Sigg let out a piercing whistle to stop the other caddies already walking ahead so the player could punch out.
“I know they all wanted me,” Sigg says of the small army of caddies that showed up for Wednesday and Thursday play. The truth is, Sigg was off-limits this year. He was matched up with Dent for last year’s event, and returning players will use the same caddies this year as they did last year.
Dent has been at Sage Valley since the course opened in 2001, and caddied at Augusta National Golf Club for 25 years (1969-87). Dent had to leave the industry in the years between Sage and Augusta because a back injury prevented him from picking up a golf bag.
Dent, like Sigg, was born and raised in Augusta. Both attended Richmond Academy, a high school that is more than 270 years old. He has watched Sigg grow up at Sage Valley.
“By being out here, he kind of learned on his own,” Dent said. “He knows the breaks.”
Most of the conversation between Sigg and Dent this week will take place on the greens. Dent says his player will consult him only on the breaks that he doesn’t see with certainty.
“He gives me every perfect yardage,” Sigg said.
Sigg finished T-39 last year in his Junior Invitational debut, but that was a result of playing too aggressively. From an insider perspective, judging the speed of the greens is the trick to mastering Sage Valley.
“(You have to) hit the ball in the right spot on the green,” Sigg explains. And Sigg, after many a loop around this place, seems to know exactly where those spots are.