PGA Tour superlatives, a caddie competition, Rory’s record? | Rogers Report

The pros took in all the action at the Caddie Competition on Wednesday.

The pros took in all the action at the Caddie Competition on Wednesday.

Claire Rogers

Hello friends, and happy Wednesday from TPC Sawgrass! We started our day bright and early thanks to Rory McIlroy’s 7:50 a.m. press conference.

Speaking of fatigued, Rory, you know who’s feeling a little tired after the early morning call time? Me. (Just kidding. I told myself I wouldn’t be annoyed by the earlier-than-usual Wednesday wakeup if I still had enough time to blow dry my hair before leaving for the course, which I did. McIlroy, you’re safe for now.)

I will say it was an all-time high for the number of coffees I’ve seen at a press conference. Rumor has it this could be a new record for the earliest presser held on the PGA Tour. No one I asked could think of another one that had started prior to 8:00 a.m., so I am declaring this to be Rory’s latest record. Congratulations to the four-time major champion, and if you’re a professional golfer who is reading this: I do not condone this behavior going forward. I will say that I avoided traffic for the first time all week this morning, so that’s definitely a positive.

First-timers day and PGA Tour superlatives

As soon as McIlroy’s presser wrapped up, I headed over to the front lawn of the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse for first timers day, where Players Championship rookies talked to the media and got a special visit from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who gifted them each with a pair of cufflinks made by Tiffany. Unfortunately, media members did not receive any gifts from Tiffany, but that’s okay.

Monahan also presented American Express champion Nick Dunlap with his official PGA Tour membership card, which was really cool to watch.

Between Dunlap, Ludvig Aberg, Akshay Bhatia, Austin Eckroat, Nicolai Hojgaard, Jake Knapp and Matthieu Pavon, this really didn’t feel like we were chatting with first-timers. These guys are already very successful. In non-golf terms, this is probably what it’s like to walk into an AP class on the first day of high school. These kids are the cream of the crop!

One of my favorite pieces of content from first timers day was hearing the players talk about their yearbook superlatives.

Aberg admitting that he was “most likable” is so funny. It doesn’t even seem like he’s trying to brag about it, which makes it even funnier because it’s obviously a flex. A concerning number of the guys didn’t know the definition of “superlative,” but we at the Rogers Report won’t hold that against them.

Caddie Competition

The absolute highlight of my day here at the Players was hanging out on the 17th tee for the annual Caddie Competition, where loopers got to show off their own game for a few moments and tee it up on one of the most fun holes on the PGA Tour.

Not only did the caddies get super into it, but the pros were very excited about it as well. The pros all became videographers while their guys teed off and made sure to get down-the-line swing content. And folks, many of these caddies are very good golfers.

We’ll start with Willy Wilcox, who made a hole-in-one on on the 17th at TPC Sawgrass when he was in the field in the event back in 2016.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go quite as well for Wilcox today. One ace is more than most of us will have in a lifetime, so I think he’ll be alright.

The most impressive moment of the Caddie Competition was when Nicki Stricker (wife to Steve) stepped up to the tee. I believe she’s the only female caddie in the field this week (and most weeks!), but that didn’t keep her from matching right up to the tee, grabbing one of her husband’s clubs, and sticking it to nine feet.

The crowd went wild as soon as she hit the ball in the air. Max Homa started cheering, the other caddies clapped and Nicki Stricker just laughed.

It was by far my favorite moment of the day, and one I won’t soon forget.

The runner-up moment of the day was when Shane Lowry absolutely lost it after one of the caddies in his group whiffed on the tee.

The pros were all so excited to watch their caddies tee it up, and I couldn’t help but take a handful of photos of the action. And as a social media gal, I noticed that the pros are all pretty good at capturing content! At least as far as swing videos go. Who knows what their photography game looks like when a friend asks for a photo taken vertically with flash on during a night out.

Sahith Theegala watches his caddie tee it up in the Caddie Competition. Claire Rogers
Ben An watches his caddie tee it up in the Caddie Competition. Claire Rogers

If you look closely at the next photo, you’ll see that Xander Schauffele was FaceTimed in to watch his caddie, Austin Kaiser, hit his tee shot.

Austin Kaiser, caddie for Xander Schauffele, watches Joe Greiner, caddie for Max Homa, tee it up. Claire Rogers

And then we had Max Homa with a front seat to his caddie’s tee shot. Luckily, his looper, Joe Greiner, is a great player, so he didn’t have to worry too much about the king of Golf Twitter (sorry folks, this is my column, and I refuse to call it “X”) roasting his swing.

Max Homa watches his caddie, Joe Greiner, tee it up. Claire Rogers
Shane Lowry watches his caddie tee it up. Claire Rogers
A man hits his tee shot on 17 and then celebrates with the crowd. Claire Rogers

Congratulations to Sean McDonagh, Vincent Norman’s caddie, for putting it incredibly close today.


I witnessed a very wholesome interaction outside the ropes by the 17th tee today and I’d love to share it with you all.

Here’s to making some new friends on the golf course!

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