Along with some equipment changes for players, a few of them have new caddies to start the year.
Camilo Villegas lost his looper when Brett Waldman decided to try playing for a living, and in an amazing effort, secured his Nationwide Tour card for the year. Villegas is trying out new caddies, starting out the season with Mick Doran of England, who previously has worked for Lee Westwood and David Howell, among others.
2011 HYUNDAI TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
The 2011 PGA Tour season kicks off with its annual winners-only showdown at Kapalua.
Ernie Els has employed Mike Kerr, who had a good break coming to him. Louis Oosthuizen was preparing to split with his longtime caddie and lined up Kerr to work for him. Kerr decided to leave Nick Dougherty and was all set to begin his new job when Oosthuizen went and won the British Open, and stuck with caddie Zack Rasego.
A few other changes will show up later.
Sean O’Hair parted with caddie Paul Tesori and picked up Brennan Little, the longtime friend and caddie for Mike Weir. Meanwhile, the Canadian Press reported Thursday that Weir has hired Pete Bender, among the most esteemed caddies on tour.
Doran is not sure how long his tryout will last -- he is working Kapalua and next week in Honolulu. But he’s at least prepared for the rough walk on the mountainous Plantation Course.
He worked Q-School at Orange County National in Winter Garden, Fla., not realizing how long the course is. Doran figured it was a seven-mile walk each day, counting the distance between some greens and tees. He did the math and realized after the week that it was equivalent of walking from his home in Tampa, Fla., to the exit he would take for Orange County.