finishes strong at the
Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Kohler executive Cheney replaced Herb Kohler as Ted's partner
in this year's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The plumbing king
must be eating his heart out now that Team Purdy-Cheney took
13th place in the uproarious PGA Tour event.
Ted didn't do so badly himself, with his first Top 10 finish of the
year. The Phoenix pro is playing great. Watch for a win in Los
Angeles this week.
Ted Purdy and Herb Kohler
'Ted's Kids' enjoy
visit to FBR Open
Smiles brightened the TPC Scottsdale when a group
of 4- and 5-year-old preschool children, their moms
and teachers joined PGA Tour player Ted Purdy for a
fun day at the FBR Open.
The parents all commented on how nice it was to
observe a calm sport.
From the school bus to the linx, the kids were jazzed.
The preschoolers, from A Stepping Stone
Foundation's 3rd classroom at Granada Elementary
in the Alhambra School District, wore snazzy "Ted's
Kids" T-shirts as they watched the intense golf action,
some for the first time.
The shirts honored Ted for his hand in helping to
make A Stepping Stone's November charity golf
tournament a huge success. He's already working
hard to help make the 2006 event even better.
In A Stepping Stone's fashion, the fun extended to the
classroom, where all the kids drew pictures of their
fun day in the sun.
A Stepping Stone Foundation's 2007 charity golf tourney, with
Ted Purdy as master of ceremonies, is going to be good fun for
a great cause. Sign up at www.asteppingstone.org.
Sammy shears off bad mojo
Ted Purdy held a 2 stroke lead going into
the last day of the Kolon Hana Bank Korea
Open on Oct. 2. Eight straight bogeys
during the round scuttled his bid for the title.
Of course, spendy hiccups on the golf
course had been the story of his
mini-slump since winning the Byron
When he reunited with his family in San
Francisco for the WGC American Express
Championship, his son was there to
exorcise any superstitions that might have
been getting in the way.
"I wanted to change things up because I
was playing so bad," Purdy said on the eve
of leading the final day of the Michelin Las
Vegas Open, also by two shots.
"I gave my two-year-old, Sammy, the
clippers and said, 'Get rid of this hair.'"
Sammy gleefully buzzed his dad, whose
noggin started looking very much like it had
been afflicted by mange or a "40-year-old
The new, professionally tweaked do is now
a little fuzz above total baldness.
"Some of the other players recoil when I
take my hat off at the end of a round, but so
far it feels like Sammy changed my luck,"
Ted Purdy picked up
some valuable tips from
Gentle Ben, the Walrus
and the Volcano during a
dream practice round at
the 2005 Masters.
Mom's long, fluid swing
shaped Purdy's game
Q. Did you grow up in a golfing family?
Ted Purdy: I actually learned to play golf from my mother. She had a long,
beautiful, fluid swing. I can still picture it today. We had the first tee
time every morning at our local course and I used to go out with my mom and
my brother. My sister would ride in the cart. That's where I learned the game.
Q. Whom did you model your golf game after?
TP: The great role models are the older players -- the Tom Watsons, the Jack
Nicklauses. But I also grew up playing junior golf with Tiger Woods. I
really respect the way he represents himself and the game. I've beaten him
twice -- probably more than most people -- but he's beaten me about 300,000
By Angelique Soenarie
The Arizona Republic
December, 8 2006
SCOTTSDALE - The hour and 15 minute drive from Sun Lakes was worth it for
Paul Jordan and Max Spencer.
Perhaps it was because of the lavish gifts, good weather, or golfing among
celebrities like Brandon Webb, Alice Cooper or Kirk Triplett.
The two golfing buddies paid $1,000 each to enter the sold-out Pebble Tec
Charity Golf Tournament, which benefits A Stepping Stone Foundation in
Phoenix. A Stepping Stone is a non-profit group that provides free education
services. Money raised at the tournament supports those services, including
Head Start and General Equivalency Diploma classes. About 90 families
annually participate in the program, which costs about $4,500 per family to
On Friday, Jordan and Spencer were among 216 golfers to play on the lush
courses of Grayhawk Golf Club in north Scottsdale. Ted Purdy, who hosted the
annual event, hopes to raise $100,000 through the tournament and a silent
"I think this brings a lot of energy because of where it (the money) goes toward,"
In return for their donations, golfers received shopping bags full of gifts. Some of
the items were $200 FootJoy golf shoes, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, and a Ping
backpack, T-shirt and windbreaker.
"I like the shoes and Jack Daniel's," said Spencer, who sat in the driver's seat of
a golf cart waiting to tee off.
Marilyn Kolstad, of Scottsdale,one of a few women on the course, sported
"This is a beautiful course and I get to play on it," she said. "I'm very excited."
Earlier, Bob Huiskamp, of Kalamazoo, Mich., one of several co-sponsors for the
event, was trying on a pair of new golf shoes.
"This is Christmas early," said a smiling Huiskamp.
Rocker Alice Cooper likes to participate in charitable golf tournaments. Friday's
event was his fifth in nine days. He said the best part is giving away gifts to those
who can use them.
For the silent auction, Cooper donated a signed leather jacket.
"I think the people here like to get their swag, which means the stuff we get," he
said, while donning a black argyle sweater adorned with a heavy metal necklace.
Celebs show for charity golf tournament
Alice Cooper trilled the tournament with his marvelous sense of humor
and sharp golf game. He even donated a stylish black leather heavy
metal jacket to the silent auction.
Ted Purdy and Retif Goosen joke with the crowd at the 2007 Wachovia Championship.
"With this field and this golf course,
it feels good to be in the hunt." ---
Ted Purdy, who was one shot off the
Wachovia Championship lead going
into the weekend.
|DAVIE HINSHAW, The Charlotte Observer
Ted Purdy jars a slick 32-foot birdie
putt on the par 3 sixth hole Saturday
at the Wachovia Championship.
By Melanie Hauser
May 24, 2007
FORT WORTH -- He estimates he voted 100 times. Maybe
Had those thumbs going with text messages all night. Even
lobbied in the locker room.
Jordin Sparks was his girl. Has been all season. No
wavering. No week off from voting. After all, her dad is his
So, yes, Ted Purdy was psyched when Jordin became the
latest American Idol Wednesday night.
Thursday morning, he was simply inspired.
Purdy rode the emotion of Jordin's win to an opening 64 that
left him one shot behind leader Anthony Kim at the
rain-plagued Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, where
first-round play was suspended for the day late in the
afternoon with only half the field in the clubhouse. And, no,
he couldn't wipe the grin off his face.
Those things he's been working on for weeks now with
Mark Winkley -- he learned the game from Davis Love, Jr. --
suddenly all feel into place. He didn't feel like he was
working on changes. The swing was just there -- more
circular, more accurate. As in 12 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18
greens and 26 putts.
"It's effortless now,'' he said. ''It seems I can aim and shoot.''
He was working on it two weeks ago at THE PLAYERS
Championship, but cost himself dearly at the second and
16th holes. Didn't trust the swing after an early snap hook
and finished 8 shots behind Mickelson, tied for 16th.
"I probably cost myself seven or eight shots on those two
holes alone,'' he said.
That he didn't play at all last week was a positive. He bought
a lake house in Graford, Texas, on Possum Kingdom Lake
-- about 70 miles west northwest of Fort Worth -- and the
family moved in. With a new Chaparral 256 SSI water skiing
boat on the dock. And with buddies J.J. Henry, Rory
Sabbatini and Chad Campbell -- pretty good foursome, he
said -- as lake house neighbors.
"I had 130 grand in my pocket after THE PLAYERS,'' he
Purdy also dropped a little on eBay, winning the bidding on
a vintage pinball machine -- "Caddyshack-" inspired No
Good Gophers -- signed by the late Byron Nelson and
auctioned off by the Salesmanship Club. The money went to
charity, the machine to his house in Phoenix, where
three-year-old Sammy is already a whiz at it.
Sammy also knows vocal talent. Or lack of it.
"My singing? My three year-old thinks it's really bad,'' Purdy
said chuckling. "He covers his ears every time I sing in the
Inspired by American Idol's Sparks,
Purdy cards exceptional first round
Purdy, in his fifth season on TOUR, is your likeable
next-door neighbor. He bears a double-take resemblance to
two-time U.S. Open champ Retief Goosen and lets his
brother -- an entertainment writer in Tucson -- maintain his
Web site, www.purds.com. Even lets said brother post a for
sale notice on the site for his house in Tucson.
"I don't pay him, so he got a little free advertising out of it,''
Purdy said. "As long as he doesn't sell my house, I'm okay
with whatever he does.''
Purdy has won just once out here, the 2005 EDS Byron
Nelson Championship. A week after that win, he was here
at Colonial Country Club trying to chase down eventual
champ Kenny Perry. He tied for 13th that year; for 25th in
2006. In 2004, he missed the cut.
All over the map? "Well, unfortunately, my career is all over
the map,'' he said laughing.
But what he loves about Colonial is the old style. You shape
shots here, work the ball both ways. No bomb-it, wedge-up
here. In fact, he calls this a great course, one that could, if
not for the infrastructure, host a U.S. Open.
"I wish they would make more courses like this one,'' he
said. "What I like about these old-style courses are the
doglegs. I mean, what makes Augusta National so great
are these big trees and pretty much every hole is you have
to work a shot around the way the shape of the hole is.''
Purdy did just that Thursday. Starting on the back nine, he
bogeyed his first hole, then birdied the next two and make
the turn 4 under. He added three more birdies on the front,
starting with a near-eagle-turned-birdie at the first. He
moved to 7 under briefly with a birdie at 6, but bogeyed the
seventh to finish at 64.
"Anytime you birdie half the holes,'' he said, "you're going to
have a good score.''
And now that he's got his swing changes down? You never
know. He finished T24 at Wachovia, then T16 at THE
PLAYERS. And now with the Jordin factor, you just never
Purdy and Jordin's dad, Phillippe Sparks -- the former New
York Giants cornerback -- play and serve on the board
together at Moon Valley Country Club in Arizona. Purdy
laughs that Sparks is a pretty good player because all he's
done lately is play golf and listen to his daughter sing.
Now he's known as Jordin's dad. Before AI, Jordin was
Purdy likes the positive attitude he sees in the Sparks family
and is hoping it will wash over him and his game.
"Jordin's attitude was so positive,'' Purdy said. "I wanted to
carry that positive feel onto the course.''
That, he did. Tired thumbs, proud friend-of-superstar's-dad
smile and all.
Ted's older brother, Jim Purdy, celebrates hitting a fairway at the
Golf for Gary charity golf classic at Tucson's Golf Club at Vistoso.
Ted Purdy, right, chats with Kevin Patton
at the 2007 Memorial after Purdy hit his
approach shot to the 16th hole onto
Patton's chair. Patton received the ball
as a souvenir after Purdy finished the
|NEAL C. LAURON, Columbus Dispatch
By DAMON HACK
THE NEW YORK TIMES
June 12, 2007
OAKMONT, Pa., June 11 — Three years ago, at the lush and leafy
K Club near Dublin, Ireland, Thomas Bjorn walked off the course
in the middle of his round on the European Tour, saying he was
fighting demons in his head. The golf course, with its thick trees
and winding rivers, had all but suffocated him, Bjorn said. He did
not want to take another swing.
“I just saw trouble everywhere,” Bjorn said shortly afterward. “The
fairway looked tiny. The green seemed to be the size of the hole.
There was nothing but fear.”
Although Bjorn’s travails caused chatter around professional golf,
the news was greeted more quietly in the locker rooms on the
PGA Tour. It might be because the tale was familiar. “All of us go
through it,” Bob Tway, the 1986 P.G.A. champion, said in an
interview two weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament. “There are
tons of stories like that.”
On the eve of the United States Open at Oakmont Country Club,
considered by many the most difficult course to be host to golf’s
national championship, players talked about the mental stresses
of a game in which physical execution is a fraction of the chore
and every swing is dependent on the individual golfer. “It would
be nice, when things are going bad, to raise your hand and say, ‘I’
m tired,’ and bring someone else in like they do in other sports,”
Tway said. “But we can’t call a timeout and bring another set of
five guys in.”
Instead, much of that stress and strain remains internalized,
some players said, partly because of their personalities. They
describe themselves, and many of their competitors, as introverts.
“I’d say we’re all a little shy,” said Ted Purdy, the winner of the
2005 Byron Nelson Championship. “Even Tiger’s introverted. He’
s to himself. With every golfer, there is a lot going on in their
brains, but you just can’t see it. Inside, we’re churning and
Compared with athletes in more reactive sports like football or
tennis, golfers deal with pressure in a much different way, said
Dr. John F. Murray, a sports-performance psychologist based in
Palm Beach, Fla. A football player can run or force a tackle. A
tennis player can react to the ball flying across the net. A golfer,
though, spends the majority of a five-hour round walking and
“Hitting a golf ball is less than one percent of the time in a round,”
Murray said in a telephone interview. “Because of that, so much
of their time is getting ready for a shot, and there are more mental
factors that can distract you or also help you and be a positive.
There is more potential for being stressed, but also for being
At its most stressful, “the pressure is often more painful than
somebody punching you in the face,” he said. Unable to run
around a field or court, “these golfers are stewing in their juices.”
“They have nowhere to go but think about what might happen,” he
added. “And you can’t punch the wall because you’re out there on
There Are No Timeouts in Golf
After walking off the course in Dublin, Bjorn was back competing
days later, finishing tied for 16th at the Scottish Open. The next
year, he won a European Tour event and carded seven top-10
finishes, including at the 2005 P.G.A. Championship. At the P.G.
A., he reflected on why he walked off the K Club on the European
Tour. “I got out there on a very, very difficult golf course and it just
got away from me,” he said. “I didn’t believe in anything. I didn’t
have a shot that I could go to when I was under pressure, and it
just ran away from me.
“I remember a couple of times in my career where I say: ‘This is
it. I’m going to take a break away from the game and get myself
ready to play again.’ I’ve been very successful doing that.”
Bjorn is not the only player who has strained for clues to grapple
with the pressure. At the Memorial Tournament, Sean O’Hair
explained how he went to the self-help section of a bookstore the
night before the 2005 John Deere Classic. His confidence was
shot, he said.
“I went to get a psychology book to kind of get my head straight,”
After browsing through titles, he ended up in the sports section. “I’
m like: ‘You know what? Let’s get a Nicklaus book,’ ” he said. “It’s
O’Hair ended up winning the tournament, but he has not won
since. “I think self-doubt, positive self-talk, all those things we try
and work on, it’s not so much we forget how to do stuff,” he said.
“It’s just about believing in ourselves.”
Even Tiger Woods, who has won 12 major titles, at times making
it look effortless, recognizes the sport’s mental strain.
“If you look at reactionary sports, they really don’t lose it as fast as
someone in this sport,” he said. “It’s very rare that you see
somebody like Steve Sax or Chuck Knoblauch get the throwing
yips. But in our sport, you see quite a few guys get the yips, not
only in the golf swing but a ton of guys with putting and chipping.”
Through the years, some players have returned to their past form
easier than others. David Duval, a former No. 1 player in the world
and the 2001 British Open champion, has not won a tournament
Also in 2001 — coincidentally on the same course where Bjorn
walked away — Henrik Stenson withdrew after nine holes at the
European Open and spent months piecing together a game with
a coach and a sports psychologist. (Stenson won the Accenture
Match Play Championship in February.)
Ian Baker-Finch, who won the 1991 British Open, had such a loss
of confidence in the years that followed that it drove him into
“Thomas Bjorn has made a very nice comeback,” said Justin
Leonard, the 1997 British Open champion. “He’s playing as good
or better than he was at his best. With Finchy, it’s unfortunate that
he couldn’t get it back. He’s still a wonderful golfer, but getting it
out here inside the ropes, he’s kind of seen too many bad things
to recover from.”
Ted Purdy poses with Bill Smith, A Stepping Stone's founder, at
the 2006 Pebble Tec Charity Golf Tournament.
Ted Purdy's Pebble Tec tourney raises $150,000
Ted Purdy's Pebble Tec Charity Golf Tournament
was an event to remember.
The Oct. 22 event raised a lot of money, too.
"We went all-out again," Ted said recently, noting
that he's very excited that last year's tourney raised
enough money to put 26 families through A
Stepping Stone's literacy programs this year.
In three years, the tournament has raised $150,000.
"I see the good work A Stepping Stone does and I
hear the stories of our graduates getting college
degrees and helping out their communities and I'm
inspired to make this a fantastic event," Ted said.
Last year's golf soiree was unforgettable itself.
Players were greeted by a tony tee package that
included golf balls, sun glasses, belts, golf shoes,
Jack Daniel's sippin' whiskey, Barefoot Wine,
Coach purses, Ping clubs and a lot more.
Then players has the opportunity to play a fun,
fabulous golf course with a fun format, the
schamble, and perhaps even rub elbows with
such celebrities as Alice Cooper, Brandon Webb
and Eric Dickerson.
The after-round dinner and drinks, live music,
raffle and silent auction also provided a ton of
The '07 tournament follows the PGA Tour's Fry's
Electronics Open at Grayhawk in Scottsdale, so
conditions will be perfect. For an added bit of
excitement, Ted's tourney will be shooting at the
tour's Sunday pins, too.
Please sign up at www.tedpurdyfoundation.org, or
call Jamie Purdy at (520) 990-4319.
Cynthia Gattorna, executive director of A Stepping Stone Foundation,
gets a hug at last year's Pebble Tec Charity Golf Tournament.
Mother-son reading time
at an A Stepping Stone
Players eagerly wait on
Sponors' Row for last
year's tournament to
Jeff Burghardt of Prince Rupert Grain makes Ted an honorary Canadian with gifts
of a tuque, Winnipeg Jets jersey and fresh-brewed Canadian water. The
Canadians were the stars the day before the tourney when they poured out of their
SUV's on Thompson Peak Parkway --- dressed in their golf clothes --- and helped
tired workers hammer billboard signs into the hard caliche for the tournament.
Ted Purdy during the first round of
the FBR Open on Thursday,
February 1, 2007.
Ted Purdy (R) asks an official for a ruling on the 18th hole during the
second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Feb. 9, 2007.
|Photo by Hunter Martin/WireImage.com
Ted gets late invite to the PGA
Ted Purdy was chagrined to be fifth
alternate for this year's PGA Championship
at Southern Hills.
"Who's going to drop out of a major?" he
wondered allowed when he got the news.
Monday afternoon he'd moved all the way
up from fifth to first alternate because of
withdraws. "I'd better get on a plane to
Tulsa," he said as he caught a ride to the
airport with his dad, Jim Purdy.
When Bernhard Langer, who is recovering
from recent emergency kidney surgery,
withdrew on Tuesday, Ted was in.
Republic news sources
Jan. 4, 2008 12:00 AM
Phoenix golfer Ted Purdy received the first of three
unrestricted sponsor's exemptions for the FBR Open, to be
played Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at TPC Scottsdale.
Purdy, a two-time All-American at Arizona, lost his exempt
status for the 2008 after finishing 127th on the 2007 money
He tied for 23rd at the FBR last year and has made the cut
three times in five appearances.
Purdy given exemption for FBR Open
"Ted is well-respected in our community, not only for his golf
achievements but for his charitable contributions as well,"
tournament Chairman Tim Louis said. "We are excited to
give him an opportunity to play again in his back yard."
The tournament also announced a new group of
commitments that includes three-time FBR champion Mark
Calcavecchia, David Toms, Stuart Appleby, Stewart Cink,
Fred Funk, J.J. Henry and Jesper Parnevik.
The entry list includes 14 of the top 30 money winners from
last year, 83 of the top 125 and 16 of the top 50 players in
the Official World Golf Ranking.
Ted Purdy, Brandon Webb and Terry Jirovsky at the 2007 Pebble Tec Charity Golf
Tournament at Scottsdale's Grayhawk Golf Club.
at the AT&T
Veteran Ted Purdy,
having started on the
front-nine, came to the
18th tee at even par for
his round. After hitting
his drive into the rough
on the right, Purdy
walked to his ball.
To his surprise, he
found it before he
expected to, and
accidentally kicked it.
He ended up carding a
triple bogey, leaving him
at 3-over for the day.
Stephen J. Coddington, St. Petersburg Times
Ted Purdy smiles at the news from PGA Tour rules
official Steve Rintoul, right, that he got the final spot in
this week's PODS Championship.
PODS field set after playoff that isn't
Ted Purdy is the last one in after his would-be playoff foe no-shows
By RODNEY PAGE
St. Petersburg Times
Published March 4, 2008
TRINITY --- The key to Monday qualifiers, those nerve-racking one-day
tournaments pros play before the week's PGA Tour event, is posting a low
score and waiting to see if it holds up. There were 113 pros who teed up
at Fox Hollow Golf and Country Club on Monday for four coveted spots in
this week's PODS Championship.
Marco Dawson, playing in the last group, posted 65 on the par-71 course
to earn medalist honors. Jim Renner and Derek Lamely shot 66 to earn a
tee time at Innisbrook. That meant Ted Purdy and Chad Collins needed a
playoff for the fourth spot after they both shot 67.
But Collins, a tour rookie from Clovendale, Ind., chose Beef O'Brady's
He played in the morning, and tournament officials tracked him down on
his cell phone at the family restaurant, 45 minutes away from Fox Hollow.
There would be no sunlight by the time Collins returned, so he was
eliminated and Purdy was given the final spot.
"The guy left; I can't believe it," said Purdy, 34, of Phoenix. "We were on the
tee ready to go. You had a bunch of millionaire players out there coming
in. You knew any one of them could play well."
Dawson is one of those players. He has been on the tour since 1986 and
finished 145th on the money list in 2007. The 44-year-old Lakeland
resident has played two PGA Tour events this season and made the cut
both times, earning $56,300. He played in the 2006 Chrysler
Championship at Innisbrook and missed the cut.
"I've never gone into that tournament where I'm really striking the ball
well," Dawson said. "I'm striking the ball well, so I'm interested to see how
I do out there."
Renner is also interested to see how he will play at Innisbrook --- but for a different
reason. This is his first PGA Tour event. After graduating from Johnson & Wales
University in Miami, Renner had played only on the Hooters Tour Lamley, 27, of Fort
Myers is a Hooters Tour member as well. Renner shot 70 in his first Monday
qualifier Feb.25 and didn't qualify for the Honda Classic.
"I've only been a pro for exactly one year now," said Renner, 24. "It's tough. It's really
tough on Mondays because you have so many good pros in one place. It's just one
round, so it's a crap shoot."
Renner now must find a place to stay while he plays at the PODS Championship.
He plans on getting there this afternoon and getting in a practice round before the
tournament starts Thursday.
"I don't really know what I'm going to do," he said. "I don't know how to go about it. I
have a few friends on tour, so I'm going to have to call them tonight and see what I
need to do."
Purdy did what he needed to do --- stay around until the final scorecard was turned
He has been on and off the tour since 1999. His best year was 2004, when he
"In the afternoon the wind died down, and it's usually the other way around," Purdy
said. "We were very fortunate to play in the final round."
And when he says "we," he means caddie Kenny Cavender, who is a junior at
Mitchell High and works at Fox Hollow. Purdy needed a caddie, stuck his head in
the cart room and found Cavender willing to carry his bags.
"I'm taking him with me," Purdy said. "If he can get out of school, that is."
For the record, Cavender said he could.
Rodney Page can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8810.
Klint Lowry/SUNCOAST NEWS
Mitchell High School junior Kenny Cavender caddies for
PGA pro Ted Purdy at the PODS Championship in Palm
High School junior caddies for PGA pro Ted Purdy
By Klint Lowry
The Suncoast News
Published March 11, 2008
TRINITY, Fla. --- Ever since Kenny Cavender
started golfing seven years ago, he's
dreamed of being a pro golfer. As the top
golfer on the Mitchell High School team and
winner of the Florida Junior Tour's Greater
Tampa Bay Tournament of Champions last
May, that dream remains alive and well.
This past weekend, however, Kenny, 17, got
an honest-to-goodness taste of the PGA Tour
when he caddied for pro golfer Ted Purdy at
the PODS Championship at Innisbrook
Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor.
"I still felt like I was in a dream," Kenny said
as he and Purdy took it easy after a 2-under
par 69 first round Thursday.
That was understandable, as the chain of
events that had gotten Kenny this opportunity
played out almost like something out of a
Kenny plays golf nearly every day at the Fox
Hollow Golf Course, where qualifying rounds
were held for the final spots in the PODS
tournament. He got a call on Saturday night
from a friend who works there who tipped
him off that Purdy needed a caddie. The job
paid $100, although that meant nothing to
"I knew he had a real good chance of
qualifying," Kenny said.
Purdy, winner of the 2005 Byron Nelson
Championship, had recently lost his PGA
Tour exemption from having to qualify prior to
the 2008 season and needed to play his way
into the tournament.
He selected Kenny to caddy for him, and
finished tied with Chad Collins. There would
have been a playoff, but Collins had left the
course to go have dinner, and couldn't get
back before sunset, so the spot in the
tournament was awarded to Purdy.
When he got word, Purdy decided to invite
Kenny to be his caddie at the tournament.
"He was such good luck, I figured why not,"
Purdy said, Kenny showed a good attitude
and competitive spirit out on the course,
They got to take a practice round together at
Innisbrook's famed Copperhead Golf
Course, on which the tournament was held.
Then they got in nine holes together during a
Pro-Am event that was part of the PODS
Championship schedule of events.
"I had to show him how to rake the traps,"
Purdy said. "Some of those guys on the tour
are pretty particular."
Kenny was by far the youngest caddie out
there, but he said all the other caddies, most
of who are highly paid full-time
professionals, accepted him. He learned that
at the pro level, life is good even for the guys
in the caddy shack.
"They pretty much got the best food you can
eat," he said.
Caddies and players have a lot of fun out
there, Kenny found, which was pretty much
what he expected and hoped for.
While doing his best to help Purdy, Kenny
has gained a few new insights watching a
pro at work, particularly the mental aspect.
"As hard as it is, just stay positive," Kenny
said. It's something he knew and had been
working on already, but watching Purdy and
the other golfers do it on this level has been
educational, as has seeing them at times
other than when they are actually playing.
As much fun as they have, these guys work
hard at being good at what they do, Kenny
said. He even noticed Purdy's discipline
when it comes to nutrition.
"He's eating broccoli when I'm eating French
fries," Kenny said. He figures he'll reconsider
what's on his own training table, so he can
get back to the PGA someday for the way he
swings a club, rather than how he carries
For the record, after his strong first round,
Purdy shot a 76 and a 79 in the next two
rounds and missed the final cut, finishing
almost exactly in the middle of the field for the