EDMOND — Typically, they carry the bag. This week, they’re carrying the flag — metaphorically, at least.
Lance Ten Broeck and Damon Green are caddies for PGA Tour players Zach Johnson and Fredrik Jacobsen, respectively, but over the last three days in the U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National, they’ve been carrying the flag to represent every caddie who wants to be a player, too.
“All the caddies are sending us notes, ‘Make us proud,’ and stuff like that,” Green said. “I know they’re all following along up in Illinois at the John Deere Classic.
“Lance and I still both love to compete, and if you’re not doing it caddying, you’re doing it out here playing. I love it, even though I haven’t played very well this week.”
Ten Broeck was one of 12 players under par after the first two rounds, but struggled to a 79 Saturday, though he remains in the top 20.
An All-American in college at Texas, he made 160 cuts on the PGA Tour and earned more than $750,000, but when he passed age 40, he turned to caddying as a way to stay near the game and keep getting paid to do it.
“If I could play, I’d play,” said Ten Broeck, who has also caddied for Jesper Parnevik, Tim Herron and Robert Allenby. “I go to tour school every year, but when you’re in no-man’s-land at 43 or 44 and you don’t have a tour card, you’ve got to do something.
“I like getting 90 percent of the money instead of just 10 percent.”
Playing is still Ten Broeck’s first passion. In 2009 at the Valero Texas Open, he caddied 31 of 36 holes for Parnevik and also played in the tournament after getting a late spot as an alternate on Thursday. Both missed the cut, but Ten Broeck finished higher than his boss, using equipment and shoes he borrowed from anyone in the locker room willing to share.
He had earned the nickname Last Call Lance because of his tendency to party late into the night, and his week at the Texas Open is as well-known for his golfing as for his nighttime revelry.