Being a caddie on the PGA Tour is, by and large, a thankless job. Of course, players and dedicated fans know the pressures and advantages a solid bagman can face and bring to the table, but it’s not until something goes wrong that a brighter light is shone on the loopers.
Unfortunately for Kevin Kisner’s longtime caddie, Duane Bock, such a situation arose over the weekend at the PGA Championship. Gary Woodland, Kisner’s playing partner on Saturday, was the 36-hole leader and competing for his first major championship victory when a triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 10th hole set him well back of prime position.
Coming up short on his approach into a greenside bunker, Woodland hit his third shot across the green into another bunker. Then, hitting his fourth shot, Woodland’s sand shot ran through the green and back into the original bunker. What’s worse, his ball came to rest in the unraked sand that he and Kisner both played from.
Gary Woodland is all of us out of the bunker pic.twitter.com/ubZrG7n6sG
— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) August 11, 2018
The surprising occurrence caused a stir on social media, which Bock responded to explaining the situation from his point of view.
It’s on me. Rake was on the other side of the bunker, in direct line with GW’s next shot. I knew I’d be in his line of site + in last group, I decided not to get in his way. I should’ve been more aware of the potential outcome of his next shot. I take full responsibility
— Duane Bock (@duanebock) August 12, 2018
“It’s on me,” he wrote. “Rake was on the other side of the bunker in direct line with (Woodland’s) next shot. I knew I’d be in his line of sight and (we were the) last group. I decided not to get in his way. I should’ve been more aware of the potential outcome of his next shot. I take full responsibility.”
Bock’s apology and acceptance of responsibility was admirable, but even Woodland’s caddie, Brennan Little, came to Bock’s defense.
Not your fault at all Dewey. You didn’t have time to rake it, even if you had started GW wasn’t waiting for you at that point.
— Brennan Little (@tblittle99) August 12, 2018
“Not your fault at all,” Little said. “You didn’t have time to rake it, even if you had started (Woodland) wasn’t waiting for you at that point.”
As for Woodland and Kisner, neither put the blame on either caddie, Bock or Little.
“I made a greet swing on 10. I thought it was perfect, and it just came up short in the bunker and hit a couple of bad bunker shots,” Woodland said. “I was happy with the way I fought back, gave myself a chance for tomorrow, which was key. Really confident going into tomorrow with the way I fought the last eight holes.”
Kisner, as he is wont to do, make light of the situation, responding to Bock’s tweet taking responsibility by poking fun at his playing partner.
I think you saved him from skull banging it back over the green again ? at least he knew he had to chunk that one!
— Kevin Kisner (@K_Kisner) August 12, 2018
“I think you saved him from skull banging it back over the green again,” Kisner chided. “At least he knew he had to chunk that one!”
In the end, Woodland finished in a tie for 6th place, six shots behind Brooks Koepka.