Pro looper makes plea for a player-caddie event

Yes, the golfers on the PGA Tour are the best in the world, but many of them also have elite sticks for caddies too.

Some players have a college teammate or coach who ends up looping for them in the pros. Other caddies are former pros themselves who decided to take up looping instead.

Take Rory McIlroy and his caddie Harry Diamond. Diamond was a pro himself at one point and won the 2012 West of Ireland Championship, the same tournament his current boss won twice, six years earlier.

There is also the story of the late  Lance Ten Broeck, who caddied and played in the 2009 Valero Texas Open and beat his boss at the time, Jesper Parnevik.

That’s why Wyndham Clark’s caddie, John Ellis, a former assistant coach for the Oregon men’s golf team, thinks there should be a player-caddie event of some kind.

wyndham clark and caddie read putt during the 2023 u.s. open
The unique advantage Wyndham Clark’s caddie had during U.S. Open win
By: Zephyr Melton

“I think it would be great TV because we’d be hitting some crop dusters and some s— shots, and our pros, and it would be so fun to watch as a golf fan,” Ellis told GOLF Subpar co-hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz. “And, you know, you get somebody like Teddy Scott, who’s on TV every day, like everybody knows him just as much as Scottie [Scheffler], Right? So it’d be great to see how us guys handle the heat of playing in a match.”

It’s an idea that’s been floated on Subpar before, most recently by Rickie Fowler’s caddie, Ricky Romano, last fall.

At that time, Romano was bullish on his and Fowler’s chances if such a competition were to take place. Ellis, meanwhile, stayed impartial instead of picking himself and Clark.

“Erik van Rooyen and his guy,” Ellis said with no hesitation on who would be the favorite.

Van Rooyen’s looper is his former college teammate at Minnesota, Alex Gaugert. Last summer, the two played in the same group for the first two days of the 3M Open after Gaugert successfully made it through his first PGA Tour Monday qualifier.

Ellis said van Rooyen and Gaugert would be a -130 favorite if some sort of event happened.

“Maybe we do that?” Knost wondered allowed.

For more from Ellis, check out the full episode of Subpar below.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at