Bank of America
Colonial Invitational

Winning Caddy:

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2009 Update:  The following is our interview we did with Jimmy in 2002.  Nick recently won on the Champions Tour in 2009 and lost in a playoff the very same weekend that his former caddy Jimmy 'won' with Steve Stricker.  Jimmy's had some good bags since then winning with Charles Howell in Los Angeles since his win with Nick and now this great win with Steve Stricker ... here's that interview we did with Jimmy from 2002 at Colonial ...

Jimmy Johnson has been caddying on tour since the end of 1996 full time.   Jimmy was a playing golf professional having turned pro after graduating from college at North Texas State.  He played the South African Golf Tour for 16 years, ands also won several mini-tours as well.  His last year playing was 1996 before coming out to work for Nick Price.  (Jimmy had been to the finals of PGA Tour school three times -just missing his tour card once.)  He came out to work for Nick when Squeeky got sick, (Jim and Nick Price have been friends since 1979).  "We thought  it was just temporary until Squeeky got well, but then Squeeky died from Leukemia, and I stayed on caddying for Nick."  Jim had first caddied on tour for Mark McNulty briefly for a stretch of tournaments on tour during the 1995 season.   He also worked for Carlos Franco for 8 months in 2000, when Carlos won the New Orleans Compac Classic, then worked four months for Cameron Beckman, early 2001, then back caddying full time for Nick Price.  Nick won twice in the first three years, with Jimmy on the bag, capped in 1997 with Nick winning the Vardon Trophy.  This win at Colonial is a fitting tribute from one of the greatest ball strikers in this modern era, Nick Price, to one of the greatest ball striking legends of the past -the honorable late Ben Hogan in the latter's own back yard -the famed Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth Texas, site of this great win!

-You had a pretty good hold of the golf tournament there on Sunday.  By the time you got to the back nine there what was your lead at one time?  Wasn't it five or so?

Jimmy  -We had it at five at one time.  When we made the turn it was down to just two shots.  Then we birdied 11, then birdied twelve, then chipped it in at 14 for birdie to take a five shot lead with just four holes to play.  Then Nick was kind of on cruise, just parred in no problem.   

CaddyBytes.com -That had to be a pretty satisfying win?

Jimmy   -Especially for Nick, it had been so long since he'd won, with the lead he was able to really savor it.

CaddyBytes.com -It must be something a little bit special for you, especially being a former tournament player of some reknown, to get to work for this guy, Nick Price, highly regarded as one of the best ball strikers of our era!?

-In the years that I've been out, it never gets too far off.

CaddyBytes.com -What do you think are your strengths as a caddy?  Especially having been a former tour player.

Jimmy  -I think that I understand the emotions that a player is going through having been a player my self competitively, if it's windy, or he's coming down the stretch.  I think that it's easier probably for me to relate to how he's apt to be feeling.  And having been there I think that I understand how important it is for me to be calm, be positive, and stick with our routine.

CaddyBytes.com -Rotella and all those sports psychologists always talk about the players 'level of excitement', and things like that.  We know as caddies how sometimes guys tend to get quick, and sometimes will hurry a shot of particular play, more when they're in contention.  Is that what you're talking about?  

Jimmy  -Sometimes when players are in contention they're thinking about so many different things, they may not be as clear as they normally are.  Whether it be the wind or the club selection and I think it's a little easier, (to see that),  on the other side of the bag -to see it a little clearer than when you're the player sometimes.  I know I couldn't always see it as clearly when I  played in those situations than I do as the caddy.  

-So when you're caddying for a guy as talented as this guy what kind of options to you present when it comes to club decision making or things like that?

Jimmy  -Usually, he'll ask me about my input, he ask me why, and listen, ultimately it's his decision.   My goal is to make his decision easier for him, hopefully.  He pays me to tell him what I think.  The nice thing about Nick he's not set on the full shot necessarily, but he's confident enough in his game that he tries to play the correct shot.  He plays really smart.  A lot of flags he doesn't go for on Sundays.  He picks and chooses the ones he wants to.  Not necessarily conservative, but smart!  I think our job as caddies is to keep our players as positive and focused as we can.  Stick with the routine.

-Did you find caddying more difficult than you expected coming from the playing ranks?

Jimmy  -No.  I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted in a caddy when I had someone working for me.   And I put that together with what Nick Price wants.  It's really all about Nick and what he wants in a caddy.  If I need to change my way of caddying to suit my player then I will!

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