Caddie Finds Closure after Emotional Week

By Smits, Garry | The Florida Times Union, June 20, 2005 | Go to article overview

Caddie Finds Closure after Emotional Week


Smits, Garry, The Florida Times Union


Byline: GARRY SMITS

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Mike Hicks finished an emotional week that he said brought him comfort in the memories of working for Payne Stewart.

Hicks, Stewart's caddie when he won the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, is now working for one of Stewart's closest friends on the PGA Tour, Lee Janzen. After Stewart's fist-pump and leg-kick when he made a 15-foot putt to win the Open by one shot over Phil Mickelson, one of the enduring images was Hicks leaping into Stewart's arms.

"There's a little bit of closure to the whole thing," Hicks said after two-time Open champion Janzen shot 74 in the final round Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2 to finish at 16-over par. "It doesn't hide the fact that I miss [Stewart] and I've been thinking about him all day. I've been looking forward to [the week of the Open], but I'm glad it's over."

Hicks said walking up the 18th hole brought back a flood of memories, and commented that it always seemed as if he was on the 18th hole at the bottom of each hour, when the nearby Village Chapel bells always toll a hymn.

"The bells are always going off [at No. 18], even when I come down here to play," he said.

Janzen said Stewart came to his mind when he birdied the 17th hole from off the green. Stewart birdied that hole to take the lead for good in the '99 Open.

"He always said that was the greatest roar he ever heard in golf," Janzen said. "Mine wasn't anywhere near that, but I thought about him."

EVERY IS LOW AMATEUR

Matt Every, a rising junior at the University of Florida, lived on the edge throughout his U.S. Open experience, starting with making it to Pinehurst in a sectional qualifier where he was among nine players who had to go to sudden death for the final five spots.

He was rewarded Sunday. Every, from Daytona Beach, shot an even-par 70, with only one bogey, and at 11-over-par 291 finished as the low amateur by five shots over defending U.S. Amateur champion Ryan Moore. Every tied for 28th in his first U.S. Open.

Moore (73, 16 over) was the only other amateur to make the cut.

Every bogeyed the second hole, birdied the 10th, and made 16 pars in the final round. He hung in despite hitting only two greens on the front nine, and said he enjoyed good crowd support, especially from Gators in the gallery.

"If I had a dollar for how many times I heard, 'Go, Gators,' this week, I'd make more money than the winner," he said. …

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