how a caddie spent his week off
Ten days ago Andy Sutton, a 39 year old caddie on golf’s European tour, was driving south from Glasgow on the M74, contemplating an unwanted week off.
It was Saturday morning and Sutton’s regular employer, John Bickerton, a modestly ranked professional from the English Midlands, had missed the cut in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, the last tournament before the Open championship.
“I was driving home wondering what I was going to do,” says Sutton. “I really wanted to get some work for the Open because it was at Sandwich and I live up the road in Maidstone, so I fancied working and being able to sleep in my own bed.
“I picked up the phone and called IMG (International Management Group, the agency that represents many of the world’s best players). I said, ‘I’m available to work at the Open, can you get me on a bag?’
“They said they had a guy called Ben Curtis coming over from the US. I’d never he michael kors outlet ard of him.”
What happened next will go down as one of the great upsets in sport. On Sunday afternoon, Curtis and Sutton strode down the 18th fairway at Royal St George’s two shots behind the leader, Thomas Bjorn. Half an hour later, after Bjorn had seen his challenge perish in a bunker, they had won the Open.
For Curtis, 26, and until Sunday virtually anonymous even in the US, victory will change his life. There’ll be big money endorsements and global fame.
For Sutton, the immediate future is perhaps less glamorous. He will be shouldering Bickerton’s bag once more this week at the Irish Open in Portmarnock.
He will do so with a healthier bank balance and a place all his own in the lore of the game. On top of his wages fo michael kors outlet r last week’s work, he is expected to bank the standard caddie’s cut of 10 per cent from Curtis’s $1.7 million winner’s cheque.
Sutton says that even after Curtis had been within two shots of the lead by the end of play on Saturday, he did not think victory was possible. “I was out in Maidstone in the pub on Saturday night having a drink with an old mate, and he asked me what I thought was going to happen. I’m a pessimist and I always expect the worst, s michael kors outlet o I was fully expecting to shoot 80 and for us to finish 20th. Unbelievable.”
Sutton provided Curtis, who had never played a links golf course before last week, with at least one invaluable tip that helped him to the championship. “When we were practising round the greens, I was sticking with a nine iron to chip, and Andy handed me an eight iron and said michael kors outlet , ‘Try that’,” said Curtis.
“I tried a few chips and it worked so well I said, ‘I’m chipping with this all week until you tell me otherwise’. He was always there, always supportive and keeping me patient. He was a great help.”
Martin Rowley, secretary of the Caddies Association, says that Sutton’s success is “a Cinderella story”. “Andy’s a salt of the earth guy and everyone will be really pleased for him. There’s no jealousy, it’ll be: ‘Well done, pal, well done. Now get the beers in’.” Guardian