A Career First .. Looking For An Interview With Harrington But End-Up Caddying.

Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palasides …

In a career first, I went out onto the famed Riviera Country Club course and venue for this week’s Genesis Open looking to have a ‘chat’ with Padraig Harrington but ended-up caddying for a California businessman.

Harrington was competing in a Monday Pro-Am and I first caught-up with the group on the elevated first tee and the 10th hole of their Pro-Am.

When all three amateurs sprayed their tee shots in every direction, including one drive that cleared the Media Centre located between the first and second fairways, I thought to myself the safest place was the middle of the fairway.

Then after a bite to eat and check on a few emails,  I found Harrington’s group on the 5th green.

Bernie fills in to act as a caddy during Monday’s Pro-Am ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open. (Photo – Padraig Harrington)

Harrington and his amateur players played the sixth but then at the seventh one of the amateurs, and using a red-coloured golf ball, hit a wild drive off the tee and hitting one of the caddies just above his right knee.

In fact, the caddies were waiting some 100-yards off the tee and well to the left of the tee but with the caddy in question not reacting quick enough and bravely brushing off the incident.

It led Harrington to remark to his group:  “What a caddy. He’s shownig no sign of concern. Well done!”

However, all was not well and the caddy was soon struggling and looking for ice in the drinks container on each tee so as to make himself an ice pack to help negate the swelling.

I grabbed Phil’s bag (don’t know his surname) and saw out the Pro-Am acting as the businessman’s caddy.

Suffice to say, Phil paid his original caddy who was taken by a motorised buggy to the first-aid hut located to the right of the ninth fairway.

I did get to speak to Harrington for a few minutes walking down the 7th fairway but my focus was now cadding for Phil and highlighted by getting him back onto the fairway after an errant drive down the right side of the ninth and their 18th hole.

I joked with Harrington’s long-time caddy, Ronan Flood:  “I could earn more money this week caddying over these last few holes than covering the tournament for my newspapers”.

As we walked up the ninth, Harrington suggested he get a photo of me caddying and I asked Ronan to join me.

Harrington, and a winner of three Majors, took the photo but cut Ronan’s and my feet off in taking the picture, and I thought it better he stick to day job.

Phil sent his second to just short of a greenside bunker and then chipped onto the raised green and putted for a closing par.

I thought pretty proud of myself in helping Phil save par but had no regrets that I had stuck to a long career in golf reporting rather than regret not forging a life caddying.

It was not till after Harrington had headed to the chubhouse to join his three amateurs for lunch that I got to finish off my ‘chat’ with him.

I wished Harrington well this week but thought to myself Phil never did pay me in caddying for him.

 



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