Kuchar's wife fills in for Z. Johnson's sick caddie
Sybi Kuchar picked up the bag Thursday for a friend at the Mayakoba Golf Classic
November 08, 2018
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
- Damon Green, Zach Johnson's caddie, grew ill on Thursday at Mayakoba. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Damon Green, caddie for Zach Johnson, went down with illness after 14 holes and could not continue in the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Sybi Kuchar, wife of Johnson’s playing partner Matt (7-under 64), took the bag for the last four, during which Johnson made an eagle and went 2-under to salvage an even-par 71.
“He hadn’t been feeling well the last few days,” Johnson said of Green. “I’m assuming he was dehydrated, but I don’t know. Matt saw Damon struggling, and I did, too. He didn’t look right. PGA TOUR staff brought him in. I’d like to say it was the first time, but it’s happened like four times at Maui, NORTHERN TRUST at Bethpage, and a couple other places.”
Green later confirmed he was suffering from dehydration and received an IV.
Johnson had a decision to make on who should get the bag when Green exited. Kuchar, who like Johnson lives in St. Simons Island, Georgia, was happy Sybi could help.
“I didn’t talk too much to Damon, but you could tell it was heat fatigue, heat exhaustion, whatever the term is,” Matt Kuchar said. “It was really getting the best of him. I knew Sybi was in the crowd, I knew she had caddied for me before and was friendly with Zach Johnson, and figured she would be good to handle it, and Zach would go easy on her.
“She knows the deal of keeping up and staying out of the way,” Kuchar added, “and I knew Zach would be happy to see a friendly face to take over the bag.”
Sybi called the situation a first. Billy Horschel, the third player in the group, joked that someone should ask Matt about kissing another player’s caddie on the lips.
Kuchar himself worked with a new caddie Thursday. He was a late commit to the tournament, and his usual caddie, John Wood, had planned a reunion that conflicted with Mayakoba. Kuchar gave him the week off and hired a local caddie whose nickname is “Tucan” (real name: David).
Tucan was on the bag for 32-year-old Mexican Armando Favela as the former Loyola University golfer won a qualifier at El Camaleon to get into the field. (He shot 67 on Thursday.) And now Tucan is on the bag for the early co-leader Kuchar. (Kramer Hickok also came in with 64.)
Still, it was the situation with Johnson, Green and Sybi Kuchar that was more unusual.
But not unprecedented.
“I’ve had friends fill in, I’ve had my brother in law, I’ve had random individuals I don’t know,” Johnson said. “I would have called a security guy or a rules official to have somebody brought out, but Sybi has done this before and she’s in great shape, so there you go.”Matt Kuchar and Sybi Kuchar at the 2017 Presidents Cup. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)