Sunnehanna Caddies

Caddie Andrea Rutledge, 15, carries the bag for Colin Morikawa during the Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Westmont.

Carrying golf bags and handling golf clubs are the most visible aspects of a caddy’s duties, but there is much more to the position as it plays a vital role to golfers.  

As the first round of the Sunnehanna Amateur got underway Wednesday morning, 98 golfers set out to be the tournament’s champion; and behind each golfer on the green, a caddy could be seen.  

Galen Watts is a native of Johnstown and no stranger to the Sunnehanna golf course. Watts has caddied for the country club for 12 years and has spent much time working with the amateur golfers during the annual tournament. This year for the tournament Watts is caddying for 2016 Canadian National Team member Eric Banks.

“I’ve seen a lot of amateurs come through here,” Watts said.  “Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson have all played here.”  

“A lot of these guys are up-and comers, and that’s what gives this tournament its prestige,” Watts said. 

“The work we put in as caddies is very important,” Watts said. “I read the putts and try to guide the guys on different holes. Most importantly, we have to keep up with them.

“We have to stay stride for stride with these guys because these boys are moving.”

Watts was encouraged by a friend years ago to become a caddy and has enjoyed his experience ever since.  

“The exercise alone is great,” Watts said.

“I also love meeting all the new people and how these golfers hit that ball.”  

Angela Mosbrucker, also from Johnstown, has caddied for four years at Sunnehanna.  

Aside from the great exercise, Mosbrucker enjoys the bonds that are created on the course.  She is one of few female caddies for this year’s tournament.  

Mosbrucker feels that her job as a caddy is to alleviate some of the stress players have during play.

“I like to try to keep the players calm and almost take their attention away from the course,”  Mosbrucker said.

“The genuine passion for the sport that these golfers have is great to see and it’s nice to be involved,” she said.

Bishop McCort High School student Evan Barzensky, 15, is in his first year of caddying. Wednesday’s opening round is his first time helping out at the tournament.

“It’s cool how amateurs from all around the world come here and in a few years you can see them in the PGA.”

As a golfer Barzensky understands the importance of a good caddy. “We help to read the greens, advise on what clubs to use and much more,” he said. “This experience has already taught me a few tips to the game.”  

Barzensky plans on playing golf next year for Bishop McCort.

Ronald Fisher is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @FisherSince_82.

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