Extreme heat caused pro’s caddie to quit mid-round. Then, a spectator stepped in
Just how hot was it at TPC Southwind on Friday?
According to the PGA Tour’s meteorologist, the temperature maxed out at 94 degrees with a heat index of 110 degrees — a record for the season.
While PGA Tour players are no strangers to playing in extreme conditions, Friday’s weather at the FedEx St. Jude was so taxing that Harris English’s caddie, Eric Larson, had to call it a day on the duo’s 11th hole.
“[Larson] bent down to tie his shoe on the 11th hole [TPC Southwind’s second hole] and he kind of stood up like he was about to go down. I told him to take a knee,” English told Golf Channel. “I grew up in south Georgia and this is the hottest, muggiest day I’ve ever had on the golf course.”
Larson received treatment and is expected to be back on the bag on Saturday. But what’s a pro to do when his caddie goes out of commission mid-round?
Luckily for English, there was an experienced spectator ready to step in.
According to a Golf Digest report, when Larson stepped away, English’s playing partner, Andrew Putnam, directed English to an appropriate stand-in: Andrew Argotsinger. A local pro at nearby Windyke Country Club, Argotsinger met Putnam at a U.S. Open qualifier last year, when Argotsinger was caddying for his brother, and on Friday, Argotsinger happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“I had just gotten there when they were making the turn, so I walked the first hole, and then on the second tee I saw Eric take a knee,” Argotsinger told Golf Digest. “Next thing you know, Andrew [Putnam] is telling Harris, ‘Hey, I know this guy can caddie.’ And there we went. It was pretty surreal.”
Argotsinger told Golf Digest that the remainder of the back nine was a relatively low lift, since English did most of the yardages himself.
“I did suggest he change clubs on the last hole. He hit it to eight feet and made birdie,” he said.
According to the report, Larson gave Argotsinger $100 to thank him for his efforts — but it sounds like the experience was priceless.
“How many guys get to walk inside the ropes and talk to these guys during a PGA Tour round?” Argotsinger told Golf Digest. “Yeah, it was a pretty incredible day.”