Bill Nichols

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Inside the Ropes at HP Byron Nelson: Spieth's caddie eyes caddy

_ If amateur Jordan Spieth wins the HP Byron Nelson Championship, he’ll walk away with a trophy.

Earnings: Zip.

But his caddie, Kramer Hickok, could drive off in a 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.

``I just found that out,’’ Hickok said after Saturday’s round. ``That changes everything.’’

Hickok, who attended Trinity Christian Academy, will be Spieth’s teammate and roommate at Texas in the fall.

``Winning that caddie would be great,’’ Hickok said. ``Maybe we could share it, or something.’’

The Caddy for a Caddie promotion, the first of its kind on the PGA Tour, debuted in 2008 and returned this year.

Tony Navarro was on the bag for 2008 champion Adam Scott. A Cadillac XLR-V was delivered to his doorstep.

But Navarro is no longer giving Scott, or his clubs, lifts. They recently split.


If any caddie deserves a car, it’s Ryan Palmer’s. James Edmondson is living the caddie’s dream this week _ he’s calling the shots.

On the tee, Edmondson hands him the club and tells him where to aim. This has reduced the amount of technical debris crowding Palmer’s brain. That also gives Palmer somebody to blame for mistakes.

``I told him several times today, `Perfect,’’’ said Palmer, who shot 73 to lead by one. ``I was calling him `Pro’ all day, too. He was the man.’’


It will be a cold day in Calcutta when Arjun Atwal wins the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Atwal, the first player from India to play on the PGA Tour, finds the 98-degree temps refreshing.

``This is a cold day in Calcutta, come on,’’ he said. ``This is nothing, seriously. If we had weather like this in the summer, people would be out there in sweaters.’’


Spieth can’t be the first amateur to win a PGA Tour-sanctioned event this year. University of Georgia senior Russell Henley won the Nationwide Tour’s Stadion Classic. The first amateur to win a Nationwide event was Brigham Young’s Daniel Summerhays in 2007.

Summerhays was grouped with Spieth the first two rounds of the Nelson, missing the cut with rounds of 72-82.

Henley’s $99,000 winner’s check went to the runner-up, which is where Spieth’s earnings would go.


Nick Watney was in no mood for analyzing his 73, which included a triple on 15, in order to assist a reporter’s story, despite the lure of standing in the sun after a five-hour round.

Q: Any momentum from your play today you can take?

A: None, no, none right now.

Q: None?

A: No. I mean, I just bogeyed the last hole so I don’t have much going right now.


Spieth, who said he’s not considering turning pro, would have 60 days to join the PGA Tour if he won and changed his mind, deciding the take the two-year exemption that accompanies a victory.

If he chooses not to join within 60 days, he could still join for the 2012 season at the end of this year, and could even join for the 2013 season at the end of 2012.

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