Being Handed ‘DJs’ Putter Just A Few Holes From The 2011 Open Championship Finish

A decade ago, I ended-up with Dustin Johnson’s putter during the final round of the 2011 Open.

I was working, as I still do, with the R & A media team helping out in bringing players to the media centre over the official opening three days and then once the tournament proper gets under way, I would walk escorting the media about the course.

So, on the final day of the 140th Open I am walking the last group with Darren Clarke and Johnson.

A young-looking Dustin Johnson at the 2011 Open Championship closing ceremony finishing joint second with Phil Mickelson and three shots behind ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’ Darren Clarke

I think it may have been either the 14th or 15th hole and Johnson’s just putted out and handed his putter to his caddy, Joe LaCava who just two months later would leave ‘DJ’ to work for Tiger Woods.

Joe was looking to go to a porta toilet, so he handed me Johnson’s putter and said:  ”Hey Bernie, Can you give this (putter) to DJ?”  I replied something like: “No problem”.

I thought nothing of it and as Clarke was headed to the scorer’s hut, I returned to the media centre where the R & A staff behind the counter began remarking: “Hey Bernie? What were you doing with Dustin’s putter?”

I replied: “What do you mean?”  Their response was:  “The TV commentators were talking about you and wondering why you were giving Dustin his putter on such-and-such a hole”.

So, there you go!  A few seconds of glory as ‘DJ’s’ caddy was off ‘spending a penny’.

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