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How This Hero Caddy Saved His Player From A Late-Tournament Mistake

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Georgia Hall made a smart move with the help of her caddy at the Muirfield Women’s Open.

OWelcome to Play Smart, a game improvement column and podcast from editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you golf smarter and better.

I have written about it again and again, and will continue to write about it until the world of golf is purged of this terrible affliction.

This affliction tries to hit the hero shot, which looks cool the smallest slice of time and end messy the rest of the time.

In the end, it was glory that defeated Sahith Theegala in the Travelers earlier this year.

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And that nearly undid the former Georgia Hall Open champion at the 2022 AIG Women’s Open on Friday — until her hero caddy Joe Miller stepped in.

While playing Muirfield’s par-5 fifth hole, Hall found herself in dreaded bunker trouble.

After pushing his ball into a pot bunker on the left, his lie was good enough to advance his ball forward, but only to the next bunker in line. There his lie was gruesome: right against the lip, making shooting from just 111 yards almost unplayable.

But Hall, like any elite player would be, was tempted. She took her stance and started looking straight ahead, hoping to move her ball somewhere in the up and down range. But with the lip hidden, everyone around her could see the disaster lurking.

“If she goes that way, she’s really not going to make it,” commentator Karen Stupples said. “I don’t see him coming out.”

Hall was about to fall into a classic trap posed by these situations: biting a little more than she can chew.

Just look at the statistics. From 111 yards, let’s say she hit two shots.

  • On the first, she takes the lip and advances her ball about 35 yards – a truly incredible shot in this situation. Best case scenario, from here.
  • On the second, she hits something straight sideways back, so her next shot is between 100 and 125 yards.

According to PGA Tour close stats, the average player’s next shot on the tour will end 18 feet from the pin if they land the hero’s first shot. On the second, the statistics indicate that the average player on the circuit will complete 20 feet. These two putts have a success rate of about 18%.

So at the risk of bringing into play a double bogey, or worse, his reward is…perhaps hit his next shot two feet closer, with the same 80% chance of missing the next putt?

It doesn’t make sense, and that’s why hitting the hero doesn’t make sense to the rest of us. Fortunately, Hall had an A+ caddy to help him. Miller trained her to push her ball to the side, to get it back to safety.

She hit her ball on the green and made two putts. It’s golf, but the real victory is what didn’t happen. You can recover from a bogey. In a major like this, you can’t afford to double or worse.

She didn’t, thanks to a perfect combination of tactics and techniques from player and caddy. You can watch the full moment below.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Contributor Golf.com

Luke Kerr-Dineen is Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role, he oversees the brand’s game improvement content covering instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s media platforms.

Alumnus of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina-Beaufort golf team, where he helped them rise to No. 1 in the NAIA National Rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue her Masters in Journalism at Columbia University. . His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast.

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