Caddie Confidential: Bonuses and Rory scuttlebutt

From ESPN - September 21, 2017

ATLANTA -- This was a very tricky Caddie Confidential to do because there are only 30 guys here at the Tour Championship and that's a very small pool. That makes it tough to keep the caddie's identity secret, but what continues to make me laugh about doing this is that the only people who try and figure out my sources on a regular basis are other tour caddies.

This week's caddie and I get deep about money, switching bags and what a caddie should say after a water ball.

Collins: Let's talk money. Not only is the last place money good this week, the FedEx Cup bonus money can be big time too. Do caddies get a taste of the bonus money?
Caddie: I do not know that to be honest with you. It's funny, that's one thing you do not really ask guys. Even though we are close buddies, how much money did you get?
Collins: Like asking another caddie how much taxes did you pay?
Caddie: (laughing) Yeah. But obviously it's become public lately, the guys that have won, like Snedeker, Horschel, and those guys who paid their caddies a million bucks. I do not know how far down guys pay. I know there are a couple guys that have deals with their player, they get a piece of the FedEx money, but I do not think there's that many guys getting paid down the list. If you were to finish 25th on the (final FedEx Cup) list and the player makes, I do not even know what they make $150-200 grand? I think nowadays if a guy finishes first, second, or third, I think [the caddie] is getting a pretty good piece.
Collins: True. And if you finish 28th on the list you might not get a piece of that.
Caddie: No, but at the same time, I think most guys are getting like a 1 percent bonus at the end of the year.
Collins: Anyway, right.
Caddie: Yeah, so you are getting a 1 percent bonus on this as well as what you made for the year. Everybody here (at the Tour Championship) obviously has had a good year and made some good money, so you are getting a nice bonus check.

Collins: How shocked were the caddies when all the changes happened this year with Phil and Bones, Rory and J.P., and now Jason (Day) and Colin?
Caddie: I think very shocked. I mean, we had not had any changes in ... Phil and Bones was a complete shock. I think all three of 'em! You do not normally have a lot of big-name guys switching. J. Day and these guys have had their same caddies for a long time and all of the sudden we have three big names switch in two months? So yeah, I think there were a lot of guys that were shocked, including myself.
Collins: And with Phil, Rory, and Jason (Day) still uncommitted to a caddie next year, it must be strange in the caddie rooms wondering, "Is that guy going to call and try for that bag?" It's almost like high school!
Caddie: It is like high school. But you know what? If you want to get in the mix and start asking around, that's fine, but nowadays guys are professional. Rory's not going to start talking. I do not know what his deal is, he's probably got a few guys in mind. He had 150 guys reach out to him.
Collins: Guys were sending their rsums!
Caddie: (laughs) His phone's probably blowing up. He's probably sick of it, and he's probably got two or three guys he's thinking about. But it's one of those things that if you want to ask about it and find out information, you probably can. Who knows what's true and what is not.

Collins: The hard thing for caddies, we are an extremely loyal bunch.
Caddie: Totally.
Collins: And in that sense, even if someone else becomes available we are like (hemming and hawing), "This is my dude. I am not leaving him."
Caddie: And not only that, every guy here this week is a top-30 guy, and you do not really want your guy knowing you are out sniffing around trying to get another bag.
Collins: Right.
Caddie: It's just not, I mean, at the end of the day, a business is a business, and I think that if you are going to work for a Rory McIlroy, the guy is (28 years old) and the guy is one of the best players in the world. There's not a lot of guys that can argue with it, but at the same time it's hard to go about sniffing around. Because he's no different (than anyone else). You call his agent and his agent is friends with somebody else and it gets back to you.
Collins: Right.
Caddie: There have already been some grumblings about who's sent him emails and who's called. It's tough. If you really want the job, it's hard.
Collins: We also all know that caddying is temporary. So how's it going to be if you leave your guy to go work for Rory and it does not work out? You ai not going back to your old boss! Are players going to be gun shy to hire you?
Caddie: I do not think so, if you get Rory. If you are making "lateral" moves maybe. But if you are going to work for a top-3 player in the world, there's not too many times that opportunity comes up, so I think guys would understand that. At the end of the day, they know it's a business, caddies have families, and at the end of the day caddies want to get up there and compete just as much as the players do ultimately. But everybody has got an ego out here, and do not you forget that.
Collins: That's what I am saying.

Caddie: When caddies start leaving players, it's a little different than caddies getting fired. We all know that. Players do not like to get fired. (We are both laughing at the truth to that.)
Collins: Yeah, if I break up with you, we can still be friends. If you break-up with me ...
Caddie: Exactly. It's OK if you dump her and then she runs off with some good-looking guy, but if she says, "Bye-bye Mikey! I am leaving with ..."

Collins: Mikey is going to have a problem. I am going to be a little bitter!
Caddie: Everybody's got an ego. Especially these guys. Their ego is bigger than most.
Collins: And they have to have an ego.
Caddie: They absolutely have to. That's one reason they are good. If you do not have an ego out here, you are going to get beat up pretty quickly.
Collins: Well, if you do not have an ego, you would not be here this week.
Caddie That's true, and if you are [here this year without an ego], you are not going to be here next year.


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