Teamwork: Yellow Jacket roots run deep for Albertson
June 01, 2017
By Alex Wood, PGATOUR.COM
- June 01, 2017
- Anders Albertson played collegiately at Georgia Tech, where his part-time caddie Devin Stanton played baseball. (Courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics)
On paper, Web.com Tour player Anders Albertson and his caddie Devin Stanton are pretty similar. Both attended Georgia Tech, graduating in 2015 with a degree in Business Administration. Both were members of ACC Championship-winning teams and both were named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll more than once during their college career. Albertson and Stanton both call Georgia home and went to high school 40 minutes away from each other. The only major difference between the pairing? Their sport.
During his time at Georgia Tech, Stanton competed on the baseball diamond as a left-handed pitcher under coach Danny Hall. He served as a two-time captain for the team and was a member of the 2012 and 2014 ACC Tournament Championship teams. On the other side of campus, Anders was playing for the Yellow Jackets’ golf team and experiencing a similar level of success. Anders was a four-time All-ACC Honors recipient and took home the 2015 Byron Nelson Award as the nation's top graduating senior golfer who excels both on and off the course.
Since pairing up, the two have experienced a great deal of success, advancing through Q-School in 2015 and finishing in the top-75 on the 2016 Web.com Tour Regular Season money list. Anders took some time recently to chat with PGA TOUR Digital about the origins of the pairing and the secret behind its success.Anders Albertson was the sixth player in Georgia Tech history to earn All-ACC honors four times. (Courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics)
How did you and Devin meet?
I think it was my sophomore year (of college). I went to an athlete Bible study on Wednesday nights and would kind of see him in there, and I would see him in the athletic cafeteria. We just kept seeing each other in all these places throughout our day and I can’t remember, but I think I sat by him one day and we ended up becoming close friends.
We both had obligations to our teams - he was a two-year captain on the baseball team and I was on the golf team - so we didn’t really have a whole lot of time to hang out in school, since we were both busy doing our sports and academics, but we’d see each other throughout the week. When (the golf team) had NCAAs, we hosted at Crabapple and he came out to watch us play there. He got to meet the team and he kind of got interested in golf.
He was a lefty pitcher and was really good, but he got injured and had to have two surgeries. After his surgeries he really couldn’t pursue playing baseball professionally, so now he’s a strength coach at a private training facility in Atlanta. That’s his other job, but he wanted to stay at a high level of competition. So it worked out great for me, having a really great friend on the bag that understands sports and understands golf.
You know, every pitcher somehow likes golf. I don’t know what it is, but he kind of keeps that stereotype going. And he’s gotten really good himself, so it’s good to have him out there.
How did you decide to have Devin start caddying for you?
I graduated in 2015, and in the fall of 2015 I went to Q-School. He had never carried for me before, and he was working, so I was like, “Hey, can you get off?” and he said “Yeah!” It was only one week a month because that’s how the stages worked out, so we did the first one in Georgia, the second one in Georgia, and the final two down in Florida. We got through on the first try and it was great. It was the first time we’d ever worked together. When we got through, I was just like, “Hey, can we keep this going?”
When we talked about going forward into the next year, I knew he’d have to work it into his schedule. He only carried maybe like eight to 10 weeks last year because he has his other job - but yeah, it started out in Q-School.
He likes to play and he’s gotten much better just being out there and seeing tournaments play and getting a better feel for the game. He’s grown so much, and I’ve grown a lot too in my year and a half as a pro; it’s just been great.Devin Stanton was a left-handed pitcher at Georgia Tech, and he now works as a strength coach in Atlanta. (Courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics)
What are some of your favorite things about having Devin on the bag for you?
He’s one of my closest friends and someone who is just really knowledgeable about sports and the body. He’s able to help me if I have some kind of ailment or injury or back problem - he’s trained to help me get that sorted out. So it works out great to have someone like that who can be on the road with me. I mean, we play 26 weeks out of the year so your body is going to get in some weird positions over time, so having him out there really helps.
We’re also both really strong in our faith; that’s one of the places we met earlier in college, so it’s good to have him out there to talk about that. We just click on a lot of levels, so it’s been a great fit and I look forward to a lot more events. I don’t think we’ve missed a cut when we’ve worked together this year, so that’s great.
How would you describe your dynamic on the course? Is it any different than your dynamic as friends off the course?
I don’t like to act like I’m the boss or anything when I’m out there (on the course); it’s not very comfortable. He’s much bigger than me and stronger (laughs), but even so I wouldn’t treat anyone like that. He likes to serve and doesn’t have a problem working hard, and I appreciate that. I try and make it feel as 50/50 as it can be while we’re out there. It really is a team effort, and he helps me out so much. Especially Monday through Wednesday. He puts in a lot of work learning the golf courses. Last year was our rookie year, so we really had to figure the course out every time we got there. He’s great and is a really level-headed guy out there, so it’s a blessing to have someone like that on the bag.Every pitcher somehow likes golf. I don't know what it is, but he kind of keeps that stereotype going.
On the course, I would say we’re both a little more quiet and focused. Off the course we just joke around all the time. We still do that out there, but we’re working and competing. So we have fun, but we’re definitely focused. Then, off the course in hotels, we always room together so we kind of cut up and have some fun.
You both competed at the Division I level in college. How does that competitive nature play out in your team?
We’re both naturally competitive but we have an understanding for each other. I never really have to explain what’s going on mentally or emotionally. He’s been there and done that. He played a team game, but pitching has some similarities to hitting a golf shot: it’s all you, you control everything that’s going on, and you have plenty of time to think about what you’re going to do. It’s not a reactionary thing. I think the mental aspects of pitching and hitting a golf ball can be similar, so he’s got great ideas. He’s someone where if I do need some help, oftentimes he’s been in similar situations and has some good insights to offer. We’re both really competitive and we played our sports for 10 to 13 years, so it comes naturally. We both just understand each other really well.
You mentioned that Devin has caught on to golf pretty well. How do you think you would do on a baseball diamond?
(Laughs) I would get demolished. I played earlier, when I was like 8 or 10. I mean, I have no velocity on my pitches, so I’m sure people would have no problem hitting whatever I threw. Devin has a nasty curve ball, and there’s no way I could do it. I could take years and years and I still wouldn’t be able to come close to what he can do. I think he’s definitely way better at golf than I am at baseball, for sure.