Professional Caddy Lance Ten Broeck leads the US Senior Open after two rounds, surprising even himself:
“I’m very surprised to be where I’m at. When I came here, I knew I was playing pretty good in spite of having not really played much. But I figured I should be able to make the cut, but I never figured that I’d be in the last group on Saturday.”
Ten Broeck currently caddies for PGA Tour player Tim Herron, and has done stints with Robert Allenby and Jesper Parnevik. Ten Broeck is more than your average caddy, though. He played in 349 PGA Tour events in his career making the cut 159 times including ten top-10 finishes. His best finish in an official PGA Tour event was a stand-alone 2nd at the 1991 Chattanooga Classic. His best finish in a major was a T-31 at the 1991 U.S. Open.
Those 150+ made cuts give him conditional status on the PGA Tour, which has led to a couple of unusual situations. When David Berganio withdrew from the 2009 Valero Texas Open, Ten Broeck stepped into his place. He caddied for Jesper Parnevik in the morning, then borrowed a set of clubs from Richard Johnson and played in the afternoon. He reversed the feat the next day. Rounds of 71-70 were’t enough to make the cut, but are nothing short of remarkable considering the spur-of-the-moment nature and the physical strain.
Ten Broeck tried to repeat the feat at the Mayakoba in 2010 while caddying for Richard Johnson, but withdrew after shooting five over.
So Ten Broeck has game, which is all the more remarkable for the limited number of rounds he plays each year—just 25 to 30. As Tiger would say, to be a better player, he needs more “reps.”
Tom Kite, who is one back and will play with Ten Broeck on Saturday says the caddy has game:
Lance is a good player. He hasn’t been playing much, so I think it’s a little bit of a surprise, but he’s a talented guy. I played a bunch of golf with Lance when he was in Austin. He’s had so much talent for so many years and just, in a lot of people’s minds, didn’t take advantage of all the talent that he has. Obviously, he’s playing very well right now. It will be good to watch him play.
Kite and Ten Broeck both are Longhorns. Kite was a first- or second-team All-American between 1970-72, while Ten Broeck was an All-American honorable mention in 1975-76.
If he manages to win this weekend, Ten Broeck will find himself in the unusual spot of writing a winner’s check to his caddy instead of receiving the caddy’s cut. But not to worry: on his bag this week is his son.