From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Mark Chaney is the qualifier kiss of death

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Considering the idea of qualifying for a major championship in the near future? If so, you probably don’t want Mark Chaney on your bag. Chaney, who happens to be Bo Van Pelt’s caddie, is what many in the golf industry would call ‘the kiss of death.’

Given how superstitious golfers can be, the thought of having a cursed caddie on the bag is not something you want in the back of your mind when you’re teeing it up for the chance to play in a major championship at, say, Pebble Beach or St. Andrew.

The major championships are where relative no-names like Ben Crane and Shaun Micheel made their mark. For a guy like Van Pelt, there’s always a chance he could be the next guy to breakout. That’s the main reason why you just can’t take a chance with a caddie like Chaney at the end of the day.

Thankfully, his bad luck only extends to major championship qualifiers. Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski has the story on the looper’s troubles:

Van Pelt finished second to Tim Petrovic by one stroke at the International Final Qualifier for the 136th British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland, with a 10-under 130 total over 36 holes at Gleneagles CC in Plano, Texas. Chaney, a 20-year veteran of the caddie ranks, stayed home in San Diego because of his track record in qualifiers, which is, he admits, abysmal.

“Believe me, I’m the kiss of death. I won’t go to a qualifier,” Chaney said Tuesday at Colonial CC, where Van Pelt is entered in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. “I told Bo that I will be the biggest help to him by not going. I couldn’t get Tiger Woods through a qualifier for the Tavistock Cup.”

You really have to feel for the guy. I know plenty of caddies out there that take there job very seriously, so it should come as no surprise that Chaney would take himself off the bag for the week. He’s taking one for the team, so to speak.

Even still, it’s amazing to hear that Chaney’s gone o-for-career in major championship qualifiers while looping for at least 10 different players over the years. Given those kinds of odds, I’d recommend Chaney stay away from casinos. His odds of success on those particular days are … well let’s just say they’re very, very low.

While he’s extremely unlucky in qualifiers, he’s been a perfect fit for Van Pelt the rest of the year, helping his guy win the U.S Bank Championship at Milwaukee in 2009. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

05/27/2010 at 1:27 pm

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