‘I didn’t sleep at all that night’: What it’s like caddying for a Masters champion

Ted Scott and Bubba Watson's winning moment at the 2012 Masters.

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Ed. note: Just as Augusta National is the ultimate insiders’ club, the Masters is the ultimate insiders’ tournament. Nearly nine decades after the storied venue was founded, the Augusta Experience has remained shrouded in mystery. To unlock some of its secrets, we asked those who have been part of the experience to describe one element of what makes Augusta Augusta and the Masters the Masters. The Tkth installment of our “What It’s Like…” series (below) was contributed by veteran caddie Ted Scott, who was on the bag for both of Bubba Watson’s Masters wins.

Previous installments: The guest experience | Hitting the media lottery | Hosting the Champions Dinner | Being a Masters rookie | Sinking green-jacket dreams at 12 | Working on the Masters grounds crew | Staying in the Crow’s Nest | Hitting a ceremonial opening tee shot

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I won’t lie. I won’t pretend that working as Bubba Watson’s caddie down the stretch of the 2012 Masters was like any other time with the bag. I was acutely aware of what was at stake, of how important it was that I do my job well.

At times, my mind drifted. How could it not? This was the Masters, the tournament I watched every year as a kid, the tournament where I felt I knew pretty much every hole by heart. And now here I was, not as a spectator but as the caddie of a guy who had a chance to win this thing. I felt like I was in a movie.

augusta grounds crew in action
What it’s like working on the Masters grounds crew, according to a superintendent who has done it
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Fast-forward to the Sunday playoff against Louis Oosthuizen. People were blown away by how Bubba was able to hook his gap wedge shot onto the green. I was not. I had been around Bubba long enough to know the guy had the shot. He has a million shots! Nothing he ever did surprised me.

Even so, when it was over, I was almost in a state of shock. I asked myself that night, and on many occasions later: Did this really happen? Did my guy win the Masters?

Well, I didn’t sleep at all that night. There must have been hundreds of calls or texts on my phone, and I felt I owed a response to everyone who had been kind enough to reach out. I don’t think I finished until 6 or 7 in the morning, maybe later.

Two years later, in 2014, when Bubba captured his second green jacket in his battle with Jordan Spieth, it was just as exciting. Yes, the pressure was a little less because he had already won one, but this was the Masters, where winning could never get old.

With reporting by Michael Arkush

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