Matt Thurmond Blog

Sept. 1, 2006

Husky Men's Golf Coach Matt Thurmond will be caddying this weekend for the 2005 NCAA Champion James Lepp at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston. Coach Thurmond will be writing a daily blog that can be exclusively found on GoHuskies.com.

Thursday, Aug. 31
After a red-eye from Seattle to Boston, James picked me up and we went straight to the Titleist headquarters where James was to be tested for some new equipment. He had the place to himself with more equipment than you could imagine and computers that tell you much more than you need to know about each shot. While there we wanted to get his yardages 'dialed in' for the tournament, so I went out into the range with a range finder and a two-way radio. He hit several shots with each club and I recorded all the distances in the our yardage book.

After Titleist, we went straight to the course for the practice round. We played with John Huston and Jeff Overton. My fellow loopers helped me out as I lagged behind, fumbled through yardages, and dropped things out of the bag. If you've never picked up one of these big leather tour bags you can't appreciate the work these caddies do out here. This thing is so heavy that I'm switching shoulders and sucking wind just to get to get all the way to his drives.

James's game looks solid overall. He would tell you that it doesn't feel very good and he feels uncomfortable, but according to the ball, he is playing well. The course (TPC Boston) is long and recent rains have made it play extremely long. The two words I've heard over and over among the players are 'bomber's course'. James enjoys a little extra space off the tee so it sets up well for him.

Today (Thursday) was a practice day so we spent several hours on the range and putting greens. In classic James fashion, he switched in and out of putters, putted right and left handed, and tried every other little trick he has to feel comfortable. According to James's traditional hotel chipping routine a few minutes ago, he feels great.

Today I snuck in for lunch and enjoyed a nice spread in the player's lounge area, then I had to go to the caddy shack to register and get my credentials. Caddies are only allowed in on the 'grounds,' the 'practice areas,' and the designated caddy headquarters. The players area is in the beautiful ballroom of the clubhouse where great food and service about, but the caddy headquarters is in the basement in between some broken down carts and boxes of stored tournament equipment.

They put out a few tables and chairs and brought in a couple of television sets that were playing some old movies. I checked in and they gave me my badge and the good news is that today will be the last day the caddies will have to use the port-o-let and that tomorrow we can use the ladies locker room. On the food table some hot dogs sat next to a tray of bagels. A few boxes of Milky Ways and Peanut M & M's sat next to the cooler of pop. I hope to spend more time in the caddy shack because I'm sure I could hear some priceless stories.

We are looking forward to teeing it up tomorrow at 2:00 PM Eastern time on Friday.

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