Pet Chihuahua Yodi among Randolph's 'traveling circus' on TOUR
October 23, 2018
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Jonathan Randolph says Yodi has been to nearly 40 states across the country. (Muhammad Saqib/PGA TOUR)
There was something about the eyes.
Jonathan Randolph had just seen one of the “Star Wars” movies, and when he looked at that puppy he and his wife Lacy had adopted, well, let’s just say a light dawned.
“I just kept looking at these dogs and they looked like Yoda; eyes way off the side and stuff,” Randolph says. “So that was in the back of my mind. When we found her, Yodi for some reason just came out.
“Seemed like a good dog name.”
Indeed, and the name stuck. So did Yodi, a brown and black and white Chihuahua, who has traversed the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour with Randolph for nearly three years now.
Randolph and his wife have recently added another traveling companion, too. Their son, Boyd, was born in March, and made his first trip – with Yodi in tow, of course – to A Military Tribute At The Greenbrier in July.
“We said it was a traveling circus before, because we had a dog with us,” Randolph says with a grin. “And now we've got a baby.
“It's a lot more bags and stuff, but when they're able to be on the road with me it's just so awesome. It makes you feel a little bit more like home.”
There are days when an excited Yodi entertains her humans by running circles around the hotel room. And she’s happy to help Randolph when he practices putting on the carpet, picking up golf balls and bringing them back to him.
Yodi is still getting used to the new addition to the family, though. When Lacy picks Boyd up, for example, Yodi clamors to be in her arms as well.
“She’s definitely gotten jealous, but also shows off like crazy when she knows he's watching and she's playing,” Randolph says. “She'll start high stepping around and doing stuff to make him happy, which is pretty awesome.”
In time, though, Randolph knows the Yodi and Boyd will be thick as thieves.
“She's got a new best friend,” Randolph says. “She just doesn't know it yet. He's been grabbing at her and doing that fun stuff. … Her life is going to get a whole lot more interesting when he gets mobile and can grab her.
“For now, she's got it made.”
Yodi, who will be 3 years old in December, joined the family in early 2016. The couple was looking for a dog and Lacy had owned Chihuahuas in the past. When Randolph headed to South America to open the Web.com Tour season, the puppy stayed behind with Lacy at the couple’s home in Oxford, Mississippi.
Once the Web.com Tour went stateside in March, their adventure began.
“She's been to almost 40 states,” Randolph says. “She's well-traveled.”
Yodi is remarkably calm for a breed that is known to be a bit skittish. And she’s perfectly content when Randolph puts her in a carrier and takes her on a plane.
“She just sits there and looks at everything,” Randolph explains. “We've never gotten a complaint. So it's a credit to her, not to us.”
Yodi has been a positive influence in other ways, too.
The first time Yodi came out to the golf course during competition, Randolph finished birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-par at the 2016 BMW Charity Pro-Am. A year ago at the Albertsons Boise Open, the puppy watched as he played the final three holes in 7 under for the week.
“I'm not going to say she's a good luck charm, but good things happen when she's around,” the Ole Miss grad says.
On Tuesday, Yodi made her second straight appearance in the media center at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Randolph’s a member at the Country Club of Jackson, which hosts the tournament, and tied for third last year.
“She had a good run here last year so she's allowed to come back, I guess,” Randolph says. “I had my best finish on TOUR the only time she's ever come to the media center, so it's good to have her back in here.”
The family has also been there for the not-so-good times, too, though.
Take a month ago when Randolph found himself back at the Web.com Tour Finals after finishing 174th in the FedExCup. He thought his game was rounding into form but he ended up missing the cut in three of the four events – a stretch he called “one of the most devastating” of his career.
Lacy, Boyd and Yodi were waiting for him beside the 18th green, though, and suddenly life was good again.
“Just to have them there -- it's hard to put into words, you know, like what that'll do for you,” Randolph says. “But it's pretty awesome to have the little guy on the road.
“Last year I said we were a traveling circus. We are legitimately a traveling circus now with the baby and the dog and everybody, but it's like the most fulfilling thing ever.”