2002 Chrysler
Classic of

Winning Caddy:

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Pete Bender now works for Aaron Baddeley on the PGA Tour.  Pete has caddied on tour for 35  years.  He's worked for a lot of top players over the years.  Among them being Greg Norman, Lanny Wadkins, Jack Nicklaus, Ray Floyd, Ian Baker Finch, and Jerry Heard in his day to name a few.  This was his third PGA Tour win with Rocco Mediate for whom Pete has worked the last three years.  (This interview is from the 2002 victory with Rocco Mediate.)

-I was in Greensboro, working also and I caught you telling some caddies "Watch out for us this week, we're going to win!", in our caddy facility.  Kind of like 'The Babe' pointing to the center field wall and then hitting it out!  What made you so confident you guys were going to hit a home run that week?

Pete  -Yes that's true.  I'd won there with Lanny I think it was 1984.  Rocco's won there before, and I knew the greens real good, and I had a feeling the way we were playing. 

CaddyBytes.com -Sometimes the most difficult thing is to lead a tournament and not get too conservative and protect too much.  Did you do anything to try to stay on offense out there, your lead was 3 over Calcavecchia going into Sundays final round?  Plus you guys had a lot of wind the last day, going in there with a 3 shot lead.  Wind was 25 -35 mile per hour gusts, and Rocco hits it high, above the tree lines that could have been a problem if he got off his game there! 

-Five shot lead end up winning by 5.  We tried to hit as many fairways as possible with the rough that deep.  Rocco hits primarily a high draw and he did it well again on Sunday.  From the 9th hole on, he had control of the tournament. 

CaddyBytes.com -This guy Rocco Mediate is a somewhat underrated player wouldn't you say?  Does he rely much upon your advice out there.

Pete -Yes, definitely.  When he gets hold of it in the hunt he doesn't let go.  He wants my input and I tell him what I think.  If I think its a hard six or a little 7, I will tell him and explain why.  He trusts me a lot.  He's a great guy and we have a great relationship.

For more on Pete Bender and to find out why Sports Illustrated named Pete Bender the most under rated tour caddy of all time, in a September 2001 edition.  Click Here to go directly to the Caddy Bytes Pete Bender 'Haul of Fame' interview!

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