A couple of months ago, George Covert caddied for Ben Crenshaw at a champions tour event. (You can read about that experience at this link.) On Friday, Crenshaw returned the favor by caddying for Covert in the first round of the Austin Country Club Championship. Shown here reading Covert's putt on #17, Crenshaw and Covert teamed up to post 76 from the back tees. That was good enough to be in 2nd place two shots behind City Champion Brian Noonan. Crenshaw carried the bag the front nine while Covert walked. Both rode the back nine.
There were a couple of notable incidents during the course of play. The first occurred on the tee box of the par three second hole. When trying to determine the yardage for the tee shot, Crenshaw was looking at the yardage markers and calculating the yardage to the hole when Covert pulled out his distance measuring device to laser the pin. Crenshaw said "What are you doing?, put that thing away before you get us disqualified." Apparently Ben doesn't play much amateur golf, where yardage measuring devices are allowed. Covert reassured Crenshaw that it was within the rules and they proceeded with the round.
The second incident occured on the very next hole, the par 5 #3. Covert hit his tee shot into the fairway. Chris Roberts, one of his playing partners, hit his tee shot into the left rough, close to the out of bounds marker and then played a provisional ball. After a search, they found Roberts ball and Roberts played his second shot. Covert then proceeded to play his second shot from the fairway. However, he played the wrong ball and was assessed a two shot penalty. Apparently Covert mistook Roberts provisional ball for his ball.
After the round there was good natured discussion about whether the responsibility for the mistake should have been credited to the player or the caddy but Covert stated that it was his mistake and not Crenshaw's. Covert and his playing partners enjoyed Crenshaw's conversation and companionship during the round.
Although Crenshaw is one of golf's more well known players, it was really cool to see him caddy for Cover. After all, what are friends for if not to return a favor?
Covert and the rest of the field will complete the championship over the next two days of play. Covert, shown here hitting his second shot to #18 hopes to be in contention in the latter phases of the tournament. Crenshaw however, will not be there so Covert will be on his own. Returning a favor is one thing. Caddying three rounds is another.