'Tucson' Classic

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Dave Woosley has been caddying on the PGA Tour since the mid to late 1970’s. He was on Ian Leggett’s bag when Ian won the 2002 Tucson Open.   Ian is of Canadian descent and has played professional golf all over the world.  Dave now caddies for Aaron Oberholzer. Here was that interview from the win with Leggett at the 2002 Tucson Open:

CaddyBytes.com –"So Dave, how did you become a tour caddy"?

Dave  –"I was a pretty good player in North Carolina in high school. It’s a pretty competitive sports state. I started caddying in the 1970’s when the GGO used to come to town in Greensboro, NC. That was back in the days when the top 60 players were exempt, (from the previous year’s money list). And back in the days of the Monday qualifying ‘Rabbits’, when just about everyone else, at one time or another had to Monday qualify to get into the tournament each week. So by the time that I got out of college, I’d already had plenty of experience caddying in PGA tournaments."

CaddyBytes.com –"So when then, did you really start to ‘go for it’ as a fulltime caddy on tour?"

Dave –"The tour started on the West Coast, and I was on the West Coast living in San Francisco and waiting tables at the time. I knew somebody who knew somebody who knew Chip Beck, and I got his phone number, called him and got the job. So I sent my stuff home, bought a backpack, and I ended up in Phoenix."

CaddyBytes.com –"So how long did you stay with Chip?"

Dave –"It was only his second year on tour, and he didn’t do all that well when I first worked for him there."

CaddyBytes.com -"Who did you caddy for after that?"

Dave –"So after that experience on the West Coast in 1980 I went back home to North Carolina. So I decided that if I could get a regular job, for someone who’s top 60 on the money list I will, and if not, I’m going home and getting a ‘real job’. I had two places I could work, back to back then, Kemper in Washington D.C. -the first year it was at Congressional, and in the tournament in Atlanta. I had a car and free places I could stay at each. And Gypsy, (Joe Grillo), ended up setting me up with Danny Edwards at Atlanta, and we finished top 20. Danny ended up asking me to work for him after that. And my next tournament with him was in Memphis, a couple weeks later, and we finished fourth there, which was pretty cool."

CaddyBytes.com -"How many wins did you have on tour prior to this win with Ian at Tucson, and what were those tournaments?"

Dave –"I won 6 times, twice with Danny, three times with Chip, and now this one with Ian. The first win was the team event that used to be played at Disney, with Danny and his brother David. Then Greensboro in ‘82’ with Danny. Then L.A. with Chip, and twice in New Orleans, once at the old Lakewood course, and then again at English Turn."

CaddyBytes.com -"How about when you guys, (you and Chip), had that 59 in Vegas?

(David was privy to caddying and witnessing only the second 59 ever shot in professional competition at that time. That was in the Las Vegas Invitational played in October of the 1991  PGA Tour Season. Chip Becks 59 was the second ever shot in competition and the first since Al Geibergers' 59 in Memphis back in 1978)."

Dave –"That was at a course called Sunrise which was designed by Jim Colbert."

CaddyBytes.com -"Going back to Ian. How’d you get hooked up with him"?

Dave –"I was working for Michael Clark last year, and worked some for Ian last year on the West Coast late in the year. Then worked for him at the qualifying school last fall –he finished 5th at 26 under, two shots back of the eventual winner there Pat Perez. So he can make some birdies!"

CaddyBytes.com -"How was your and Ians’ West Coast going prior to this win at Tucson?"

Dave "We didn’t get in Phoenix, made three cuts, finished 12th at the Bob Hope, and had he parred the last hole would have finished sixth."

CaddyBytes.com -"So come Tucson, a desert golf course, relatively flat, perfect scoring conditions, basically you’re continuing on with what’s been working, then Voila’, you win the tournament"!

Dave –"Well, he didn’t play particularly well in L.A. the week before, we missed the cut. And he’d been jumping around with different clubs. Finally he put his old clubs back in play that he’d finished 5th with at Tour school. They’re older model Taylor Made clubs. And so he came into this week with those and a very good attitude."

CaddyBytes.com–"Recap, then if you would Ians’ performance this week and was there any one particular thing that was a turning point that led to his victory at Tucson here this week?"

Dave –"He got off to a really good start, shot 68 the first day, four under. Could have been better. The second round he stumbled a bit, and had to eagle the 17th hole, (the reachable par 5 8th hole at Tucson National –as they began their second round off the 10th tee.) We were missing the cut until he made a ‘bomb’ there, about 70 feet for eagle. Then he shot 15 under on the weekend, 65 on Saturday and 64 on Sunday! We got done about an hour to go before play would be finished. We had about 220 into 18 and what looked like about a two shot lead with a par on the hole, a score of –20 under par. He hit a four iron and nuked it, got it past the pin left and above the hole and almost holes a difficult bunker shot, just a tap in four. I figured at that point, worst case scenario would be at least a tie and playoff, or outright win. I just didn’t’ think at that point anyone was going to beat that score. (20 under). I noticed it was tough to get close to those pins on the finishing holes, and those guys coming in still had to play them."

CaddyBytes.com –"Any one thing you might have done or said key to helping your man this week?"

Dave -"I think in the past of specific events where I might have done something to help a good finish or a win. But not so much this week, he just played great! I just tried to pay attention to where he was emotionally up or down, pre-shot routine and so forth. Try to keep him loose. There wasn’t even much to do there. Russ Cochran told him when we got done, 'The more difficult the shot you had, the better you seemed to execute today.' And Russ was right, he did!"

CaddyBytes.com -"How about a funny caddy story from over the years"?

Dave –"Bullet Bob when working for Fulton Allem. Fulton was playing badly during one particular tournament, over par, and had just hit another bad shot in a series of them. Fulton, says to Bullet in his typical South African twang, "Bullet, quick, give me something, like a club, so I can break it." Bullet looks at him with raised eyebrows and without batting an eyelash says, 'How about breaking Par, Fulty' !"

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