After Tiger's bag, the most coveted prize for a Tour caddie is a
mayonnaise jar stuffed with about $4,000 and a nice watch. That
goes to the winner of the caddies' annual closest-to-the-pin
contest at the sweetest little s.o.b. in golf--the 17th hole at
John Daly started the contest during a practice round at the 1992
Players Championship. When Daly, Hubert Green and Fuzzy Zoeller
got to 17, Daly whipped out three $100 bills, pegged them to the
turf with tees and challenged the caddies, saying, "I bet you
guys can't hit the green." Daly's caddie, Greg Rita, was the only
guy to do it, and he snagged the Ben Franklins. Pretty soon other
golfers were challenging their caddies too, and today, during the
Wednesday practice round, every pro puts some cash in the
jar--the Tour adds a $1,200 Omega--and each caddie gets a shot at
the green, winner take all.
What makes 17 so hard isn't simply the ubiquitous water. The
green is slightly elevated, which affects your depth perception
when you're on the tee. The 4,000-square-foot putting surface may
look big on TV, but with a club in your hands it appears to be a
razor-thin strip of grass in the middle of an ocean.
*For 28 years--the last eight with his dog, Squeaky--Gorjus
George has crisscrossed the U.S. drawing the yardage books used
by the pros at Tour events.
COLOR PHOTO: TODD BIGELOW/AURORA (LUCAS)
B/W DIAGRAM: DIAGRAM BY GEORGE LUCAS No. 17 N Par-3 N 142 Yards