A good neighbor
Purdy lets man next door carry bag at FBR Open
Photos by John Severson/The Arizona Republic
By Bob Young
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 2, 2007
OK, show of hands:
How many of you would put your livelihood in the hands of your next-door neighbor?
That's what we thought, which is why we figure PGA Tour pro Ted Purdy is either a really nice dude,
or remarkably confident in his Moon Valley neighbor, Chuck Lawston.
The two were in Las Vegas with their wives recently to celebrate the Lawstons' 40th birthdays when
Chuck mentioned that it sure would be cool to caddie for Purdy in a pro-am or a practice round
some time. Purdy asked him how he'd like to carry the bag during the FBR Open.
Lawston thought it was a great idea until Purdy suggested he loop for the entire tournament.
"I said, 'Nah, that's your life.' We kind of let it go, and then I sent him an e-mail and told him, 'I realize
we were making some poor decisions so here's your easy out.' "
Purdy sent a reply saying he already had given his regular caddie the week off. "No backing out
now," he wrote.
So Lawston, a 4-handicap golfer who was good enough to win the Montana Junior Amateur as a
kid, is on Purdy's bag this week.
"The joke among all my buddies is that I'm the worst putter of all of us," Lawston said. "They're
wondering how I'm supposed to caddie when I've got to read putts. I told them, 'I can read 'em, I just
can't make 'em.' "
Lawston sounds like a veteran caddie. He mentioned that although Purdy struggled a bit with his
driver and missed a couple of putts in the first round, "We still ended up 2 under."
(See? Good day, and it's "we.")
"We're a little (ticked) we're not in the hunt," Purdy said after a 70 on Friday left him at 3 under. "But
we made the cut, so maybe we can get in the hunt tomorrow."
Anyway, Lawston is spreading the fun. He's wearing a hat that says "Arizona Fleet Services," a
business owned by his neighbor across the street. And he's wearing a shirt with the Chris Asterino
& Associates logo for another friend and former neighbor, Asterino.
Lawston's real job is selling doors, and he said his bosses have been kidding him about taking the
week off, but it turns out he's run into a bunch of clients at the tournament.
"They're all high-fiving me," he said. "I should be selling them doors, but they're out here anyway."
Plus, Purdy is sponsored by Kohler, which makes bathroom and kitchen fixtures, so you can pretty
much take care of all your home improvement needs by following one group.
"Chuck's been great," Purdy said. "He's real positive. It's nice having a friend on the bag. The whole
key for a good caddie is the relationship has to be stable, positive and fun. We were having fun on
the back nine (Friday)."
So far, Lawston hasn't made any major mistakes, other than a miscalculation of yardage during the
"I was trying to figure out how the whole sprinkler-and-yardage thing works," he said. "I gave him a
yardage of 114 yards, he hit the shot and said, 'Are you sure?' He glanced at the sprinkler as he was
walking up, and after he paced it off on the green he asked again, 'Are you sure about that yardage?'
I did the math again, and it was 111. He knew. These guys are so dialed in, it's amazing."
So, we wondered if he'd consider ever doing it for a living?
"I've got a pretty good job," he said. "I've got a wife and three little kids. I couldn't do it."
Besides, he's found out what pressure is all about.
"I've probably gotten about six hours of sleep this week going over all the possible scenarios. Ted's
a great guy. He's letting me go where 120,000 other people out here won't ever get to go."
Cousin Kevin Flindall and
brother Jamie Purdy
frolic at the Birds' Nest.