What's all the fuss about? I had a super time caddying for my
son, Matt, at the U.S. Open. It was like Augusta times two. We
had huge crowds cheering us on, people who had paid big money
for tickets and were thrilled to be there, just as we were. Matt
kept pretty cool at Olympic, but when he did something special,
I got excited. I couldn't keep it in--I put my fist in the air
and danced around for a few seconds. That's all, nothing
different from what I did at the U.S. Amateur, Bay Hill, the
BellSouth and the Masters. Nothing different from what other
players and their caddies have done. Not enough to bother
anyone. But if you believe TV, Justin Leonard couldn't stand my
"antics" at the Open.
I have two things to say about that. First, it's a golf
tournament, not a funeral. Second, TV got it wrong. Justin
wasn't mad at me. I didn't move when he was putting. When he
stared in my direction, he was staring at a photographer who had
moved. After the round, Justin found me in the clubhouse. He
shook my hand and said, "Congratulations. It was great playing
with you. Have a good time the rest of the week."
I did, too. I'll never forget the energy coming from the
galleries as they rooted for us. You would have to be a zombie
not to react. I'd like to think the Kuchars are living proof
that if you smile, the world smiles with you. At least 10 USGA
officials--some of the straightest men you'll ever meet--told
me, "Keep it up, you're good for the game." But if Matt or I
distracted anyone, we apologize. We realize we are the new guys,
and we're still learning the ropes on the pro tour. With each
event we learn something new to do, or not to do, to show our
respect for other players.
Peter Kuchar is a life insurance specialist in Lake Mary, Fla.
COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND BUBBLY POP Peter (left, with Matt) says his act is in good taste. [Peter Kuchar and Matt Kuchar during tournament]