2015 Presidents Cup- Bill Harmon Blog #8

What a long and exciting day! Got on a shuttle at 5:30am and back to my room at 8:00pm. I literally can’t think of one dull moment. When we got to the team cabin, a rather viscous thunderstorm hit and it was deemed that the cabin was too dangerous to stay in so we all loaded into the team bus for 20 minutes. When we got back to the cabin they informed us that the tee times would be delayed an hour. That was no big deal because they deal with this stuff all the time. With my role of “driving Miss Freddy” I have to do some prep work. One of the staff members, Davis Love, and I brought up the carts from the cart barn. Went into team office and started folding dry towels and putting 5 towels in plastic bags that each Captain and the support carts would have for the players and caddies in case of more rain. I then prepped 3 coolers with water, energy drinks and other snacks for the players and caddies. Then we started bagging peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the players and caddies. Think we are doing enough for the players and caddies?!!! Loaded up all the carts and then dried them all off and we were ready to go. The storm brought with it a cold front and it was quite chilly all day, but we all have been provided with the best rain gear so it was all good. Then the fun started!

It’s funny how “premonitions” work. I was on the range when Matt Kuchars caddy, Lance, asked me to take some stuff back to their locker. As I was walking off the far end of the range, Bubba was hitting drivers. My cart was parked about 20 yards left of his target line and as I was walking to the cart, “something” told me to wait until after he hit his drive. I wasn’t near where he was aiming but I stopped anyway. All of a sudden he smashes this drive and I hear something flying by me and it’s the head of his driver! It had snapped off and flew about 50 yards down the fairway!! It was the strangest thing. Davis Love found it about 50 yards from where he hit it! This set off a frantic chain of events.  His spare was in his hotel room. We radioed two of the superstars on the PGA staff, Nina and Emily, they called the hotel to open his room and in the meantime Freddy calls his girlfriend, Suzzane to go up to his room, get the club, a driver was arranged to pick her up, we wait at the front gate and we had it for him in the first fairway! It’s was alternate shot so JB drove off of one and Bubba had a driver for the round!

The golf at times today was spectacular! Louis and Brandon Grace are 4-0 and are playing fantastic. From what I understand from our team, Grace has been the star of the group each day with Louis also playing well. Unless you see the quality of these players, it’s hard to appreciate going 4-0. To put that into perspective, Jason Day, the #2 player in the world is 0-3-1. He has won only a half point out of 4 and he’s not playing bad. Chris Kirk was four under par on his own ball yesterday and he and Jimmy Walker lost 6/5! The International Team of Bae/Matsayama were -9 thru 11 holes on a cold, windy and bitter day. Fantastic golf! Freddy and I are assigned to one match so we get our info on each match from the jumbotrons and communications with each Captain who is assigned to a group. We keep everyone up to date with what’s happening on every hole. The morning matches were very exciting with 3 of the four matches ending on the 18th hole. Freddy is very superstitious and where we drive, routes we take and where we park our cart is always under constant review, quite funny, really.

The competition is very close and like I said on an earlier blog, that although the golfing public hasn’t quite embraced the event, the Captains and players are fully invested into the Presidents Cup. Today should be very exciting with quite a few interesting match ups starting with Louis/Reed right out of the box. There is Bubba/Jadee, the longest and shortest hitter! Don’t count out Jadee, he is a tenacious competitor. It appears that our Captains loaded the early pairings to try and get control of the match, but it’s hard to get a read on this. If the player doesn’t play well and putt good, he will get beat. Although most of the players get along on both teams, there is very little interaction on the course. These team events seem to isolate the teams. Even the Captains and Vice Captains rarely acknowledge each other even though they are following the same matches. I like it that way! There will be plenty of time for pleasantries when the PC concludes!

I can’t even put into words how great the US Vice Captains have been. They are true servants to the team. Each and everyone one of them are quality players, but more important quality individuals. They have all commented that it’s MUCH harder watching then playing! All four of them prepare for each day in their own individual way and is probably similar to how they prepare to play except they are doing it for 12 players!! I will add more about each Captain in my final blog.

I will say this before I know the outcome of the Presidents Cup. I have been quite fortunate (mostly because of my last name) to have had some wonderful experiences in golf but this has been the greatest thing I’ve ever been apart of. The energy and professionalism of the PGA TOUR support team has been over the moon in excellence. The total loyalty of the Captains to the team has been something special to witness. My week with the “Caddy Caption”, Tommy Lamb has been worth the price of admission! The players and the caddies have been all in. You just couldn’t ask to be on a more special team. I have no doubt that the Captains/players/caddies and support staff of the International are having the same experience. The reality is that one team will lose today. There is a chance of a tie and that wouldn’t surprise me. I can’t tell you how much I want the victory for all the people involved today.  Win, lose or draw, it has been a once in a lifetime experience, but…….it will be a hundred times better with a win!!

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3 Comment

  1. Ian Baker-Finch says: Reply

    Great stuff Billy…you’re the best. Well done to Capt.Jay Haas and team …What great memories for you all especially Jay and Bill. Congratulations mate see you all in the desert soon at Toscana cc.

  2. Russell Davis says: Reply

    Thanks for sharing Billy. It was great following you. Congratulations to all. The matches produced a lot of drama topped by victory. I couldn’t be happier for Bill Hass and of course Jay. It is interesting that no sport produces the kind of closeness and friendships that is enjoyed by golfers.

  3. Ron Tomsic says: Reply

    I really enjoyed reading your day by day account of the Presidents Cup as it provided some “inside info” on what transpired behind the scenes even though I was there. Sorry that we didn’t get to spend time together but look forward to catching up with you at Toscana.

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